No, I'm not writing about the 80's Brian Setzer band project, but about the cats that are wandering around the Alexis Hotel where the 2008 NCPTW/IWCA joint conference is being held. Today, as I was walking back to my room taking a break from being Lord Techmeister General, I noted the cats that someone had mentioned to me earlier that day or yesterday. They, of course, are not really stray cats (being that they never really had a home) but are true wild cats. They, no doubt, rome the Alexis grounds catching vermin and birds for a living. They may dine on the odd convention sandwich carelessly left on a bench, but hey, that's free food, and who is going to refuse free food?
Now what 's the point, you are asking yourself and me while you read this? I found these cats rather interesting. Here they are, hanging on to this resort--making it their own lair. They live quite well here. I came upon a crew of them in mid-cat-argument. One was strutting his stuff. Another was cowling in a corner. A third, who had fled the previously-mention strutter, was strutting-his own stuff across the way.
All hell broke loose, however, when I intervened. I generally like cats. I always have. It is not necessarily their aloofness that appelas to me, as much as their general indifferent friendliness. Generally if you pet a cat, it will pet you back, so to speak.
These cats, however, were having none of that. They skittered away from me quicker than Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Ok, you are now asking yoursef what the hell this all has to do with peer tutoring.
A whole lot, I tell you.
It is so easy to think that we know best. It is so easy to come from the outside and think that what we have to offer is what student writers need. The fear these cats displayed at my trying to be friendly reminded me of the general trepidation that is often reported about students before they come into the writing center.
Can we learn anything from stray cats or stray students?