Skip to main content


Well, a new semester has begun, and I've bought all my books, but the only thing I am excited, at all, about is returning to the Center. I wasn't planning to return this semester--hence my last "Goodbye" post, but I am so glad I changed my mind. I changed my mind for various reasons--the student writers are great, the other consultants are super, the selection of candy is always divine--but, perhaps the number one reason I decided to return is that I just plain missed it, all of it.

It's odd, the effect consulting can have on an individual. (When I say individual, I really mean me.) Seeing new faces around the center reminds me of how much change occurs within the walls of the center, within the peoples of the Center. There, change occurs on various levels. Sometimes, change occurs almost invisibly within a session--like that "ah ha!" realization that happens silently, internally within a writer. Sometimes, it's a little more external and noticeable--"There's Snickers instead of Smarties!" And, at other times, change is thunderous and impactful...

It's weird to consider myself a consultant. It wasn't always that way, and there were times I thought I'd never be of any help to writers. When I entered the Center a little over a year ago, I was scared, unsure, and confidence was something I only pretended to possess. It all felt so overwhelming. On top of trying to get to know the other consultants, get an A in the tutoring class, understand the writing center lingo, and understand the grammar unit, I was supposed to figure out how to consult, too?

"I'll never do it." I thought. "It's too much."

Luckily, my outlook on the center, on myself, and on consulting has changed. Because this is a blog, and not my personal 900-page memoir, I'll spare all of you the finite details, but I will say that I'm glad I never gave up. There were times that I wanted only to hide in bed, instead of going to class and admitting that I did not understand Kolln, had a bad session yesterday, or felt that I had failed in helping a fellow writer. And, for a while, the negatives consumed my thoughts and shook my confidence. The negatives took control, and it wasn't until about halfway through my first semester that I realized that I was failing to realize the positives. Truthfully, the positives outweighed the negatives by a few tons. And, in my own silent, internal "ah, hah" moment, I realized that I was simply being myself and figuring out the whole consultant thing, in my own way.

Despite my stumblings and despite my shortcomings, I was becoming a consultant. I was different from all of my fellow consultants. And, those consultants were unique and different from one other...

I see the new faces around the Center, and they remind me that change always happens; it will never stop happening. Change can be intimidating, but it can be satisfying, too. I look forward to watching the many changes that will occur within the Center this semester--within me, within the candy bowl, and, most of all, within the consultants.

Each new consultant is different and will handle becoming a consultant in different, unique ways. Each new consultant will also bring his or her own perspective, his or her own process, his or her own change into the Center.

I'm thankful that I'll be around to see it...


  1. Yay! Welcome back, Alisha. I wouldn't want to part with the writing center either, and that's partly due to the teamwork aspect between all of us as consultants, even though some of our paths rarely cross. I loathe change, but, so far the pickings in the candy bowl taste pretty good, and I know we have some great voices joining us from 303--looking forward to hearing more from them.

  2. Hey, Miss. I just purused the "To Blog or Not to Blog..."

    Good times, Good times!

    Thanks for the comment, and I"m pretty excited about reading the new consultants' posts, too.

    I look forward to hearing (reading) their perspectives...

  3. Alisha! I know we're both graduating in December, but I don't know what you're planning on doing after you get your bachelor's degree. I've already secretly started fantasizing about NOT getting a teaching job and starting to work on my graduate work here; working in the center as I go. Realistically, I NEED a job teaching (or my mate will probably kill me--he's sick of paying for everything), so it probably won't happen.

    I too thought of leaving the center this semester because I'm student teaching, but I couldn't do it. It's an addiction, isn't it?

  4. It IS an addiction, Mandy! Like lattes...only better...

    This is FREE and YUMMY!


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.)