I made a vow awhile back to not write about the lack of participation here from peer writing tutors despite my efforts to draw folks in. I have to break that now because I've been bothered recently by, for want of better terms, the dedication to WC work by folks who work in writing centers. I guess these thoughts started when I was reading WCENTER and a conversation about methods to get peer tutors to fill out appropriate (and I would argue essential) report forms. It would seem that some peer tutors were "too busy" with their own school work to take the time to fill out the forms that notify instructors of what went on in an individual session.
The WCENTER conversation then turned towards general commitment levels of WC folks (and in particular graduate students). Chris LeCluyse from UT Austin writes
The thornier issue is how graduate students see themselves in the center, and how they relate the work they do there to their own studies and professional goals. Grad students may overlook writing center procedure simply because they have too many plates spinning as it is, or they may not think that such procedures are important because they don't feel fully invested in the work they do at the center. As a former English grad student, I'm familiar with the initial disorientation of teaching writing and working as a writing consultant ("But wait, I *do* literature!").
While I was reading this I suddenly had the (I would say sad) thought that despite all of any WC director's work, people who work there are probably not going to have the commitment level that she or he has since, ultimately, many folks don't work in writing centers as a carreer. It is for them, perhaps, just a weigh station. It is something to do before you get you finish up your work and move on to the real job.
I suppose, ultimately, one would be expecting far too much for folks who work in writing centers to feel that they can be a part of the development of the field and writing center work. Ultimately that is why PeerCentered never seems to go anywhere.
Nice idea, perhaps. Wrong audience.
Meh--what a depressing post.
While I admit I was once intrigued by the prostitute-consultant analogy, not by what Scott Russell had to say about it but by some of the id...