This week, I had several appointments that were very informative and shed some light on something pretty important: perception. I think that, a majority of the time, people think that the Writing Center is nothing more than a place to come when you need grammatical edits. To that end, a lot of the clients that I had this week wanted me to edit their papers, read through them on my own, and make changes while they sat on their phones. I don’t think it was intentional for them to think to be uninvolved in the process, I think that it has to do more with the perception of the Writing Center as a passive place. Since we, as consultants, have studied extensively the ideas of collaborative learning environments amongst other things, we understand the value of mutually looking at a piece of writing and finding ways to work together to improve it and ourselves in the process. I think that one goal for the future of the Writing Center should be to alter this particular perception: this isn’t an editing hub, or a place to come to sit on your phone while someone else reviews your work. This is collaborative! That should be something we advertise more and talk about more.
As my last month as a consultant begins, I’ve begun to reflect on what I’ve learned in my time here and what I hope to complete in my remaining time in the Writing Center. I’ve learned, per last week’s entry, the importance and necessity of collaborative learning, both in terms of my own personal growth and the growth of those that I’ve come into contact with as a consultant. It is so important to foster that collaboration, and I’ve really come to appreciate it and it’s benefits as I’ve spent more time in the Writing Center. Additionally, I hope to make some more progress on the Handbook–I’ve concluded my research and asked several other, more experienced consultants for opinions on my general area for the book, which involves attendance, attire, and other general sort of expectations. It has been really exciting to work on the Handbook, especially as a new consultant, because it has helped me jump right into my responsibilities and given me a lot of information about what is expected of me during my time here. Hopefully, by the end of the semester, we will have completed the Handbook, so that future consultants will be able to jump in as I have.
Compared to last week, this week was pretty uneventful. I didn’t have any clients on Monday, so I spent a bulk of my time doing some research for the handbook. Basically, since the section I am working on centers on general guidelines and expectations (attire, attendance, etc.), I kind of am just looking into what other centers have done (if anything), and have asked a few of the other consultants what their views on these subjects are. Honestly, it was a little frustrating that only three people replied to the survey. Speaking as a new consultant in the writing center this year, it would have been helpful to have a baseline or some guidance from the consultants who have been here for a while, since I don’t really have a lot to go off of in terms of prior knowledge. However, I am optimistic that we will be able to get the information that we need through research, asking other consultants in person, and talking with Dr. E to fine tune. Looking up!
This week was pretty crazy! I didn’t have anything really happen to me until Friday, but it was a very eventful day to say the least. First, I met with the rest of the handbook team to discuss next steps, as the survey did not yield even close to the number of responses that we needed in order to get an adequate idea of what to include. However, we decided to take a step back and do some research over the next couple of weeks, so that we can have some background and content for the handbooks. Hopefully, towards the end of the month, we will have accomplished more and will be ready to begin writing the book itself.
Additionally, I had an interesting client this week. English was not her first language, so we mainly read through her paper to look at mechanics and grammar, which she told me that she has been struggling with a lot. It was really rewarding to go through it with her and to show her different tricks to help improve her grammar, and it gave me some cool experience as well. At the end, she inquired about where she could get tutored on subjects like mechanics and grammar–do we have a service that does that here? Like, an English tutor? I also gave her my email in case she needs to reach out again. She was really sweet.
That’s all for this week.
This week, I had a number of appointments that were very different in nature, but had one similar element: the expectation of full grammatical revision on my part. If you know me, you know that I love grammar, but I also know that my job as a consultant is not to simply correct grammar. Instead, though I assisted both of my clients with grammar issues in a hands-off sort of way, I also went through the paper with them step-by-step to review other issues and to look at the piece as a whole. Overall, I think the response to this was positive, and I think that I was able to give them a better understanding of the goal of the Writing Center.
On another note, the completion of the consultant handbook is still ongoing. However, only three people responded to the survey, so it has been difficult to know exactly what sort of information the other consultants in the Writing Center want to see in the book, which is unfortunate and has made the process a little bit more difficult than anticipated. However, we are trudging on! Hopefully, we will be able to come up with some good content.
This week, I had one appointment–coincidentally, it was with the girl that I met with last week! I guess she thought that I did an okay job and decided to sign up for a time of mine again, this time with a different assignment. I think it went very well! Additionally this week, I began to spend a bit more time on the special project of the Consultant Handbook. Hopefully, we get a few more responses to the survey that we sent out to everyone, as a big goal of this project is to help consultants new and old learn the ropes and have a reference throughout their time in the Writing Center. As such, it would be beneficial for everyone if the consultants had a say in what was in the handbook–unexpected expectations, dress code, how-tos for certain situations, etc. I think it’s a really exciting project and I’ve been enjoying my time working on it! I also like it a lot because I kind of get to learn as I go along–I’m a new consultant this semester, so I get to work on a cool project and gain my footing in the W.C. simultaneously.
That’s all for this week!
This week was really great-I had my FIRST ever appointment in the W.C.! Luckily, it was with someone that I knew beforehand, so that made me way less nervous about being helpful and talking with her. We essentially just went over some concerns that she had about a paper for her English class, and she told me that my style of consulting was really helpful–she didn’t feel “lorded over” or like I took control of the paper or the meeting, which is good! I was very worried, when I first started last week, that I would be too involved or not involved enough in the writing process for the people that came to me for help. However, I think that I definitely found a way to strike a good balance somewhere in the middle. Additionally, I worked a little bit on my special side project, which is the creation of a Consultant Handbook. This project is really cool and very rewarding, in my opinion, and as a new consultant, it really helps to know what is expected of me and of my services in the Writing Center. It is cool to learn some tips that I didn’t know previously, and I’m eager to help future consultants acclimate well to their role as a consultant here!
That’s all for this week!