Skip to main content

My First Time

Yesterday at the Boise State Writing Center, two of our veteran consultants were sick, so a handful of us newbies got to do our first consultations, myself included.  I had been very excited for my first session, so of course, although I was nervous, I was eager to rise to the occasion.  So I want to tell all of you about it, because it will be a fond memory of mine for years to come!

My appointment was about 5 minutes late, which only added to my nervousness.  She showed up, tattooed arms and flustered face, and apologized for being late.  I told her it was fine, explained that I was filling in for someone who was sick, and led her to a desk where we sat down.  She filled out some brief paperwork, and then I asked her what we were going to be working on.  She said that she forgot the assignment sheet, but she stumbled her way through explaining the assignment: a 6 page English 101 paper comparing and describing a language community other than her own.  I verbally established that it was a brainstorming session, and tried to get her thinking about language communities that might be interesting to her, which got us nowhere.  So I tried to get creative; I knew I would need a roundabout way to get her thinking.  I asked her questions about what communities she belonged to, and which ones she doesn't.  We eventually came up with a topic, and then she offered up a suggestion to narrow her topic even more, which was great.  I loved that I could see her thinking.  She left with a list of topics to cover and a written-down game plan.  And now, for the best part: she said she felt like she actually had some place to start now, and that "it" helped a lot.  I was elated!  We said our thank-yous and goodbyes, and I went out to the main part of our center to tell another consultant how awesome it was.  I was bubbling over!  There's something very magical about what goes on in a consultation, and I was so happy I finally got to be a direct part of that.  I officially have the "Writing Center Bug"!

So now I want to hear about your first time.  Or maybe your first successful time, when you left the consultation thinking you really got it right.  I think with anything, once we get in the hang of consulting, it's very possible to lose sight of the initial excitement we feel in the beginning.  So I invite you to bring those memories back; I want to hear about them!

Comments

  1. my first session was with a senior applying for graduate school--she had brought in her statement of purpose. i was a sophomore and so scared that i might influence her in a way that would keep her from getting into grad school. but it went well! and she came back a few weeks later.

    ReplyDelete
  2. April,
    May I just say that you are freaking amazing? My first time was full of apprehension....When I type "first time" I always think of it in a sexual connotation. Damn you, over-eroticized society! Anyway, I was kind of shoved into it, as the student was a walk-in. The whole 5 minutes before, as she was filling out her paperwork, I kept thinking, "I'm an idiot. Why would she take advice from me? Oh my gosh, I forgot to put on deodorant this morning! Gross! Oh, no, wait, I did." But after the first 30 seconds of sheer terror, she and I settled into a nice little session, and I think I actually helped her, which was awesome. Now look at us: we're practically veterans. Cool! It's been great getting to know you this year!

    ReplyDelete

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.)