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Showing posts from November, 2005

Zen and the Art of writing centers

The end of the semester it seems like it is particularly easy to fall into the cloudy trap of negativity in the writing center. There are so many many students with so many needs and outright demands, that the pressure one feels is palpable. I am working to keep things calm in the Student Writing Center: trying to reassure consultants who've had particularly tough sessions with students who are panicking; trying to ease the burden of session after session of non-stop writing response; trying to help student writers learn. Tension, of course, can be a good thing, but too much tension can lead to myocardial infarction. Likewise, in the WC biz we always have to be careful not to take on frustrations/tensions of the people who visit us. So while I'm working with the peer consultants to maintain their focus and positive regard for the writers who come to us, I too must find the quiet still place to make sure that it doesn't get to me either.

NCTE

I'm going to be traveling for the next few days to attend NCTE in Pittsburgh. I haven't had a chance to glance at the program yet. Hopefully I'll do a better job of blogging the Convention than I did with IWCA!

Tutoring Disabled Students.

I had a session this past week in which I tutored a deaf student. It was a really interesting session, but I was also nervous about it; I didn't know what to expect from the student, who supposed to bring his interpreter but didn't. We spent our session typing out notes to each other on MS Word (I thought it would be easier - and I think it was - than handwriting everything we wanted to say); but I realized after our session was done that I didn't cover nearly as much as I would have with a non-deaf student. This was not particularly surprising in retrospect, but I should have stuck to a few points more than I did. I also realized that I wasn't as organized as I thought I would be; I wondered if I manage to get my message across to students who don't have learning disabilities, and what I could do differently; I had to reevaluate my effectiveness.

Each semester the director at my Writing Center encourages his tutors to either videotape or audiotape a session, listen…