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Connecting to Escape...

I'm thinking a lot about the opposite of the escapist ideas that Sara W presents. I agree with Sara and Andrew that writing center consultations are a place to set aside our worries, and focus on someone else. When are we pulled back in? Do you find yourself ever sharing information about yourself in a session--educational, historical, opinionical, favorite foodical, romantical? When does such sharing lead to establish rapport between consultant and writer? When is such sharing ridiculously inappropriate? Your reflections on this topic are super-appreciated by me, as I work to form a connected study...:)

Comments

  1. Foodical? New one to me.

    Yes, I do find myself giving some personal information within sessions. Early on I went out of my way to not give details about me, but I found that stilted conversations about some topics. I think the building of rapport comes from similar views of the topic at hand, or at least similar understandings.

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  2. This is discussed in a lot of the lit about WCs, but I do find that sharing some personal info helps to build rapport. Probably the most common thing I bring up are some of my shortcomings - usually struggles I have as a writer, or difficulties in classes (stupid Algebra!).

    Usually this helps undercut an image of me, the tutor, as this model of academic perfection. I like that by reducing my authority in that respect, I actually gain ability to work more effectively peer-to-peer.

    It also can help students who are feeling overwhelmed, like they are the only ones struggling with college.

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  3. Thanks for your insight. Andrew, could you point me in the direction of this topic in WC lit? I'm having trouble locating relevant material, even though I know it must be there...

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  4. I agree that it helps to share some personal information about yourself. Of course, I am not going to go into detail about a fight I had with my husband last night or anything, but it is nice to get to know the people you tutor just a little bit. I love it when the same person comes in to see me several times and we can actually build up a relationship. I think it is the connections to other people that really make working in the WC worthwhile. Not to mention being able to help someone!

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  5. Elizabeth--I think that Bouquet talks about it a bit in her book. I remember reading about the gaps between writer and consultant, and how those gaps can be closed--or filled--through rapport and presenting yourself as their equal. Like Andrew said, "shortcomings."

    Geesh, that's horribly paraphrased, but I think it's close to Bouquet's discussion anyway. Hope it helps!

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