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My First Time as a Consultee

I have a confession to make. I used to be afraid to visit the writing center. In fact, until I became a consultant, I'd never been. I was pretty sure that consultants used some sort of mind tricks or something, and that there were indeed "right" answers to the questions asked . . . though I'd have to guess at them.

I was afraid that the paper they'd tell me to write wouldn't be the paper I wanted to write. I think I was still trying to find my voice then, over-protective of my writing and too easily influenced by outside sources.

Which I guess tells me that, as a consultant, I shouldn't play mind tricks by being vague, yet I should refrain from telling people what to do.

On to my experience--I was having a hard time getting a paper written, so I made an appointment. My trepidation over the paper overrode my fear of being a consultee. I found myself babbling anxiously, and asking "Does this make sense?" (Although I certainly didn't bother to ask, "Is it good?") I was asked some tough-but-useful questions and I went home contemplative, with a to-do list as a strategy for how I was going to proceed.

Then I also emailed my final paper to a friend for some more consultation (and proofreading). It might still stink, but it is better for having been consulted over. And I'll no longer fear the writing center as a consultee.

Thanks to my consultant!

Do the rest of you make use of the writing center yourselves? Did you begin your experience with the writing center as a consultee?


  1. I must confess, Sarah, that I have never been "in the other seat" in the writing center. I have made appointments, but then cancelled them, as my procrastination usually gets in the way of helpful feedback. Even as the consultant, though, I was nervous about working with you on your paper in the writing center. We've shared a lot of ideas in class, but the writing center seemed a new dynamic, almost stifling. Of course, after we really started discussing composition and content, everything seemed fine and comfortable. I don't know how much I fitted into the mode of the consultant, but I'm glad you left w/ an agenda-I know I walked away with a lot of new ideas! :)

  2. Anonymous11:13 AM

    I started my career with the WC as a Consultant. Truth be told, even though my freshman seminar writing course included a trip to the center to introduce us to its services, until my interview, I didn't even know where it was. Oops.


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