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Showing posts from 2017

PeerCentered FlashMob, IWCA Rendition

By popular demand*, PeerCentered, the blog for, about, and by peer writing tutors will be holding an IWCA rendition  the PeerCentered Flashmob on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at Riverwalk A in order to celebrate Coffee & Tea. Coffee and tea will be available. Ok, ok, PeerCentered makes no claim to actually sponsoring the coffee and tea that IWCA is kindly providing us, but we are happy to celebrate it by FlashMobbing. 

Come get your gold sticker!  Dance if you want to!  Don't dance if you don't want to!

Be quick, though, the PeerCentered FlashMob doesn't laze around.  It is over in exactly five minutes.

 *Does one person count as "popular demand?"

Survey on the Initial Preparation/Training for Undergraduate Writing Consultants

Hello!
We are two undergraduate writing consultants and a writing center director at Carleton, a liberal-arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, and we are reaching out to ask for your help.  We’re conducting a brief survey of undergraduate writing consultants and tutors on their initial preparation/training for the job.
Our goal is to learn which readings, topics, and activities undergraduate consultants--specifically, those who have at least a term, quarter, trimester, or semester of experience under their belts--have found most useful and illuminating as they have prepared for and conducted meeting with writers.
We will present the survey results at the 2017 International Writing Centers Association conference in Chicago this November. The findings will likely be of interest to both current writing consultants and those who train and supervise them. The survey link is:http://baseline.campuslabs.com/cc/2017teifl
We hope to answer the following questions: Are undergraduate consultants lea…

Is it just me or has anyone else been accused of being racist?

Okay, to be fair, her feedback survey only mentioned that I was biased against the argument of her paper, black civil rights, and while I don’t think I am racist--and I’m definitely not opposed to addressing police brutality in African American communities--her comments made me stop and wonder: am I racist? As a white male, when I enter a consultation with a minority, say a woman of color, can what I do, how I present myself, and how I helpbe racist? She wanted a grammar check, that infamous check for grammar, the insatiable wailing toddler in the backseat of consultations, the archnemesis to the tutor’s goodwill. I explained that I’d do my best to “help you become a better reviser of your own work” as I usually do, and then we got under way. As we grazed over the introduction and crossed into her claim, comma splices, standalone demonstrative articles, and FANBOYS felt like distractions to the ambiguity that was trying to be her thesis. In order to address the higher order concern, I …

The Putty People

It's good to be a flexible consultant, but not too flexible.
Those that are flexible can change consulting styles from session to session or even within a session, depending on the situation. Yet, it’s still important to have that stiff backbone. A good consultant reminds me of those bendy rulers we all had in elementary school: they’re flexible and can be used for a multitude of other things, but when it comes down to doing their job, being a tool for measurement, they’re stick straight. On the other hand, I, the over-compliant, people-pleaser consultant, am like putty. For a time, putty can be molded into anything, but if enough time passes, it’ll morph back into the useless glob it used to be.
Okay, to compare myself to a “useless glob” seems a little harsh, but I think there is some insightful understanding in the analogy. Within a session, a people-pleaser consultant will let the client mold them in any way they see fit, often in a way that holds their writing style together.…

Surfer Dude

Stereotyping is a prominent word in our society. It is a word that people are scared to even utter, let alone be categorized by it. But, the truth of the matter is that everyone stereotypes; oftentimes it is subconscious. It has been proven on multiple occasions that even people who are from diverse cultures will have natural tendencies to categorize someone just because of the color of their skin or the way they dress. And I’m going to be honest with you. I catch myself falling into these stereotypical tendencies regularly.
As a writing consultant at a very diverse university, I encounter people from all walks of life on a regular basis. I’ve had clients that are everything from non-traditional students with PTSD to 17 year old prodigies applying to med-school; I feel like I’ve seen it all. In many instances, however, I find myself subconsciously categorizing clients before I’ve even said hello. I take a quick look at them and determine how the session will go, simply based on their…

Lost in Translation

Have you ever tried to learn a language other than your own? Coming from someone who has gone through it, it can be daunting and humbling at the same time. You see, when someone is talking to you in a different language, you can kind of pick up a bit of what they’re saying, maybe not the whole phrase, but a word here or there, like in the visual above. You can put together some understanding of what the speaker was intending, but there are a lot of variations that can be considered. In the visual above you can use many combinations of words that completely change the meaning of the sentence. If you don’t know what the speaker intended to say, then you are completely lost. The feeling of being ‘lost in translation’ happens to many, including some of our ELL (English Language Learners) at the Texas A&M UWC. As a consultant at the Texas A&M UWC, I find that many consultants can tell when a client doesn't quite understand what they are saying, whether they explicitly say so o…

On Writing as a STEM major

At the small Waynesburg University Writing Center, I happen to be the only Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) major without an English minor, and this can sometimes pose unique challenges for me. When I was selected by the director last year to work at the center, she mentioned that her staff was lacking in science majors, which is something she wanted to improve upon. While I was obviously flattered, I also wasn't aware of the problems and distresses that would accompany it.

Let me preface by saying that I absolutely love working at Waynesburg's Writing Center. It is my favorite job that I've held so far, and I look forward to all of my appointments and the time I get to work there. Despite this sentiment, there are many instances where I feel uncomfortable among all the wonderful English majors who know every last participle, tense, and citation style. The field of literature can be overwhelming to an outsider, or even one experienced in it who doesn&#…