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!