Skip to main content

the Writing Center 1/2 elevator speech

Last week I tagged along with our Writing Center director to Freshman Orientation, in order to 'represent' the Writing Center. After struggling to assemble a rather complicated poster contraption behind our folding table and admiring (coveting) the library table's schmancy set-up with lap-tops, a table cloth, and candy, we settled in ready to arm incoming students with Writing Center bookmarks and pencils.

The students rushed the room in big clumps. I attempted to give a bookmark to anyone that would make eye contact with me. A few times I almost forgot what I was doing and said "Vote for Change"...but it was not election flyers I was handing out, but a valuable summary of what the writing center is: information that defines my academic passion, my pedagogy, and my day-to-day work.

Most students opened their complimentary trick-or-treating bags just long enough for me to drop a pencil in and moved on to the Student Health Insurance table, which was giving out classy water bottles. But several students did stop, ready to absorb any information about the Writing Center I chose to bestow upon them. So I did my best: "We work with writers at any stage of the writing process," "it's always good to get a sounding board for your ideas," "we may not have brought candy with us, but we have quite a selection in the center." It was kind of tough. What is the most important information I can pass on in a clear way in a short amount of time? If you had to (or when you have had to) sum up the work of your writing center in two sentences what would (or did) you say?


  1. Anonymous10:16 AM

    Ah, the things we do for our WCs . . .

    Hmm, in two sentences? I think first I would stress our inclusiveness ("We work with every kind of writing, even things from outside of class"), and then address their fears/concerns ("We can help you understand what college writing is about").

  2. Nicely put, Andrew. Very articulate and welcoming. :)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Enough with the Prosti----- already

While I admit I was once intrigued by the prostitute-consultant analogy, not by what Scott Russell had to say about it but by some of the ideas we threw around in class the other day, I can honestly say, now, that I am beginning to move away from the metaphor. While I once connected prostitution and the writing center through their brief meetings and levels of intimacy, I now question the nature of those meetings and the levels of intimacy available, and like David said in class, I agree that the comparison is a stretch. Here’s where I struggle with a connection between meeting a stranger, a prostitute, for sex, and meeting a consultant at the writing center. Although the ‘client,’ ‘student,’ or whatever, meets with a stranger for a limited period time to meet a specific desire, the level of intimacy between sex with a prostitute and a writing consultation differs. It is my experience that consultations between peers can be genuinely intimate as one discusses personal thoughts—there i…

IWCA Forum: Peer Tutor => What do we call ourselves: the poll!

I have posted a poll in the IWCA forums: IWCA Forum: Peer Tutor => What do we call ourselves: the poll! It is a part of an earlier discussion that kind of petered out about the titles used for writing center workers. Please take a moment and vote! If you don't have an account on the forum, you can register for one by clicking on the "Register" link (next to the rocket icon in the top-right of the page.) Don't forget to state your institutional affiliation when you request and account. (That's how the IWCA Forum keeps out spam accounts.)