Thoughts on the Issue of Control
While reading through Lundsford’s essay Collaboration in the Writing Center, I found myself very fond of the "The Center as Garret" model of the writing center—in love with its ideologies in fact—a true "Romantic" I suppose. I do strongly believe in "individualism" and "individual ‘genius’ (48). Perhaps this directly stems from my own experience in writing, in my previous conversations with writers, and in my deep-seated love of all forms of writing and its ability to enable individual expression—whatever the reason, I believe that I may be a true Garretarian. Now, according to Lundsford this poses a problem when attempting to foster a true "collaboration." As seen in her essay, Lundsford "challenges" the "Storehouse Center" and "The Garret Center" ideologies by offering up a third option for consulting, the "Burkean Parlor Center" (51). Although I agree with Lundsford’s idea of making a center’s overall ideology "Burkean," I tend to disagree with her underlying implication that the individual consultants under this Burkean umbrella must neutralize their individual beliefs in order to adequately fit this model.
Lundsford suggests that within the Burkean Model control is always "negotiated and shared" (52). Yet on the other hand, as is discussed on page 48, control within the Garret model is given to the "individual student knower" (51). Under the Burkean Model this appointment of control wouldn’t be appropriate; I personally believe that this initial appointment of control is needed in order to have a successful consultation—the paper is the student’s after all, and it’s important that they feel in complete control of it. Now, if that student feels that the control needs to be shifted back onto the consultant (me in this instance), in order to feel comfortable within the consultation, I personally would accept it in order to get at the individual’s confidence and at their personal interest in the piece. Yes, under these circumstances there would be a shifting of control, but perhaps it needn’t be ‘negotiated’ or ‘shared’ throughout the consultation if letting this control reside within one of the two persons warranted positive results for the individual and for the consultant.
What’s your personal stance on the issue of control?
What do you think about this ideology?