It’s a pedagogy about nothing. But it encompasses everything. How else could it be? I mean, there is no way to really approach a consultation with a cohesive plan. Every person, every paper, every encounter brings with it a new opinion, a new view on working with people, or a new insight into how your own biases affect the way you consult. Sure, there are the ideals: don’t take over the paper, try to take culture and experience into account, give concrete examples…..but is there a theme? I have toyed with a directive minimalist approach, where you gage how much you direct the work (could be read ‘bully into your own opinion’) based on the writers experience, fluency, etc. But is that really a way to look at consulting? When everything is possible, is there anything left to rely on?
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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.)
As a frightened freshman, I wandered deep in the bowels of the library basement. My eyes darted from room number to room number, looking for the aid my professor promised I could find. At the end of the hall, a golden light shone from an open doorway. My approach was slow and I lingered on the threshold. All uncertainty vanished when I was greeted with a smile and welcomed into the new world of the Tutoring Center. At the time, I did not know I would spend most of my weekdays in that room as a senior or how mundane this new world would become. How could I? I didn’t even know how much insight I would receive from my tutor that day! Being a learner in the writing center is a wholly different experience than being a tutor, yet I know many of my colleagues have not had the same learning experiences that I have. I think this is unfortunate because there is much that a tutor can gain from being a learner. It was my freshman year of college and everything was new. For me, that meant that fear
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