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...:)


  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.

  2. Anonymous11:38 AM

    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.

  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...

  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!

  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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