The Writing Center field is relatively new to me and I'm sure she will show me many more tactics and strategies for consultations and collaborative leaning, but as of now, I have not been satisfied with the way "theories" are being presented. I think my problem is that I have an image/definition in my mind about what a theory is (right or wrong), and it is not matching up to the "theories" within writing center publications for consultants. To me, a theory is far more than a quibble, or a call-to-arms. When I here the word "theory," I think of Kant's "Hypothetical/Categorical Imperatives," Barthes' "Dead Author," Said's "Orientalism," etc. I do not view North's opinion statements and proposals to be theory (this is not to say that it isn't valuable, or unscholarly - just not theory). Of all the readings that our BSU 303 class has examined, I would argue that there is no theory (according to my definition) in any of them thus far- Lisa Ede even mentions this in her article, "Writing as a Social Process" when she asserts that there has been no new theories since Bruffee's Collaborative Learning. Is this true, or is my definition of theory bankrupt? I don't mean to come off as a bully or some idealistic snob. I would just like to find some theory within writing center R&D if it is out there, or else, reconcile the two conflicting definitions of theory.
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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
So, I was driving to school today and as always was listening to NPR (that's my self-promoting conversational piece informing you on how intelligent and connected I am) really, I just like the coverage on the campaign and "This American Life." Okay, I am already getting off topic and I haven't even gotten on topic yet. Anyhow, the story I was listening to was about a woman who used to be a part of the admissions committee at Dartmouth and is now working as an independent consultant helping students with the admissions process for schools. For a cool $40,000, she will work with you from 9th grade to graduation to help prepare you for your college admissions process. And for the budget price of $14,000, she will help you write and revise your college application essay. So, how in the world does this correlate to our world? Well, her work with college applications includes helping students decide on effective topics (staying away from "teen angst, or