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November 27, 2007

The C4W As a Subculture

When approaching the assignment for our inquiry papers, I decided that the relationships among employees of the C4W were interesting, and worth a closer look. I began thinking of the C4W in terms of it's own community, and that translated to the possibility that it is a subculture. Over time, this transformed into the question, "How is 3751W 2007 a subculture, and what does that mean for the C4W as a whole?" I felt that 3751W had more of a strong subcultural context within the C4W, so it became my focus.

In order to support my claim of the course being a subculture I surveyed my fellow consultants who are enrolled in the course, interviewed Kirsten Jamsen, our director, and made personal observations on the interactions of our group. I referred to secondary research to establish a stronger definition of subculture, which, as it turns out, is not so easy to define. I also found recorded reactions of peer tutors at a different writing center, which I used as a comparison when examining our own.

Of course, I was not looking for definite answers to the questions that came up in my research, but I found some interesting information nonetheless. Our group dynamic, both as a course and as co-workers, is complex and dynamic; it is most definitely a subculture, as I prove in my research. I also examined the effects of us being a subculture. There were a lot of positive things I found happening both in our course and in the C4W as a whole as a direct result of the interactions of 3751W students. This led to the examining of possible implications, ways to either maintain a positive atmosphere or improve the atmosphere in future 3751W courses. I also discovered some interesting tidbits about myself as a member of the subculture, which I feel many consultants at the C4W may be able to relate to.

The hiring of Undergrad Peer Tutors

About the Hiring of Undergrad Peer Tutors in University Writing Centers


For this inquiry I began by asking how writing center directors decide whom to hire.
What guides them in their search and decision making process? What do they value in a peer tutor? There is very little prior research of the subject in writing center discourse. To find out the answers to these questions I composed a survey directed at writing center directors. The survey consisted of 9 open answer questions and one question where they were asked to rank eight characteristics. The questions included where and when they post for applicants and whether they require a certain GPA, faculty recommendation, or a class for tutors. I also asked about anything else they require of a candidate and whether they think it is important that the tutors reflect the population of their school. I also interviewed the three directors of one university writing center. For the analysis I brought together the results, interview responses, and research. The results reflected the large variety of processes that writing centers use in their procedures. Writing centers must have flexibility while deciding whom to hire for their undergrad peer tutor staff.

Cultural Contexts of Commanding English Students

My work as an in-class writing consultant in the U of M’s Commanding English program gave me the chance to investigate the experiences of non-native English speakers. I've focused my inquiry on gathering CE students' opinions of university life, and on identifying some of the forces – linguistic, cultural, social, etc. – that affect their academic lives, and that the Center for Writing (and the university in general) ought to understand better. I held face-to-face interviews with four CE students, who talked about the support systems they rely on and the values, past experiences and future goals that motivate them. Participants also gave frank evaluations of their institutional experiences. Overall satisfaction with the CE program was high. Students appreciated the emphasis on academic writing development and the engagement and accessibility of the faculty, but expressed frustration with the limits CE imposes on their access to classes outside the program. The interviews also suggested some possibilities for improving the Center for Writing's support of the CE population. One concrete example: Wilson Library is a popular after-hours study area. Perhaps CE students would use SWS more often if it expanded its presence there or extended its hours.

Writing Outside the Margins: An Analysis of the Writing Experiences of Multilingual Individuals

My study investigates the intersection between the personal and academic experiences of a sample of multilingual students currently attend the University of Minnesota when confronted with the task of writing university/college-level assignments in standard American English. This issues is very important to me, considering the fact that I am a multiethnic/multilingual individuals, who although grew up learning English, still knows how it feels to have to ask myself "how do you say this," or "it is at or in" in various situations when I write. Thus, these challenges are faced by many, who have acquired enough information to be accepted to the University, but who in return lack formal skills and education when it comes to writing in an academic nature.

Issues of a) identification of a first/home/mother tongue language; b) fluency in multiple languages; as well as c) the experiences of comprehending and writing in English when it is not an individual's first language were also addressed in my study. The more that the University of Minnesota's Center for Writing learns about both the personal and academic experiences of multilingual students, the more prepared the Center will be to work with this growing population of students.

My initial question that began this research seeks to investigate how fluency in multiple languages affect the attitudes of multilingual individuals in relation to writing in standard American English composition? Thus, my research goes onto detail my collection of data via a 13-question questionnaire I created and distributed to six study participants, all self-identifying as either native English-speaking multilinguals or as non-native English-speaking multilinguals. These participants were selected through my interaction with four of them at the Center for Writing through consultations and the other two from within my social network. The results yielded that the native English-speakers multlinguals face less fear, condemnation, or stifling of one's thoughts in comparison to their non-native English-speaking multilingual counterparts.

Nevertheless, this study draws upon many conclusions that have been stated in previous literature and are compared and at times are also juxtaposed with evidence from my primary research survery/questionnaire data. My hope is that the Center can take something away from my research and know that although many times consultations occur between monolingual/monoculture consultants and multilingual/multiethnic student writers, therefore some issues such as approach, beginning questions, explanations of grammar vs. writing skills and so on are all ways to help the Center approach work with both multilingual and monolingual students alike.

Examining MotivationsAmong First-Year Writing Consultants

The purpose of this study is to examine the motivations of first-year writing consultants for pursuing this line of work. Three first-year writing consultants were subjected to tape-recorded interviews. Close-readings of the interview transcriptions were presented in order to provide an analysis of motivations. Finally, a reflection of the author's own motivations, in concert with those of his interview subjects, are offered. Previous studies on teacher motivation were analyzed in order to create a theoretical framework for a discussion of motivators. A primary conclusion of this inquiry paper is that there are several fundamental motivators common among writing consultants writ large. These motivators include pleasure with working in an intellectual environment, a strong sense of community, and a joy found in assisting people with writing.

The Place Where Theory and Practice Meet: Flexibility within a Writing Consultant

This paper attempts to make the theoretical demands of writing center gurus Steven North and Muriel Harris more accessible to novice writing consultants, ie, me. I felt like focusing on right or wrong methods in writing consulting was quite pointless, as methods can change and vary, but as long as they uphold the principles, is it ok? The main question I was attempting to answer was: To what extent do differences in consultees affect one writing center consultant's basic principles of consulting, as visible as [his methods] in three sessions? Even with varying methods, is the writing consultant still adhering to the same principles?

Through studying one experienced, thoughtful writing consultant, I wanted to see by what principles does this consultant abide, AND how flexibility acts within three sessions. First, I found that both Harris and North upheld four principles: one, consultations should be student centered; two, consultations should be collaborative; third, they should be flexible; and fourth, writing consultations should focus on the process of writing, and not the product. I then looked at Jack* (name changed), and found that he did indeed uphold all of these principles in his work, but first, focused on upholding the student as a person trying to become. I also found that Jack acted in directive ways, and gave sentence-level help. Though these methods may appear non-collaborative, etc, it is not. In these sessions that these methods were utilized, the student needed the help. Thus, Jack was acting on a hierarchy of principles, focusing first on the student's needs and then acting out with flexibility. Writing consultancy is about meeting the student's needs...and adapting the principles through flexibility.

The End.

Computers in Face-to-Face Writing Consultations

In this study, I researched consultant behaviors and attitudes regarding computer use during face-to-face writing consultations in SWS-Nicholson. I examined issues such as the role of the computer, the computer as a physical object, and perceived ownership. To gather data, I asked my SWS-Nicholson colleagues to complete a short survey detailing their computer use, perceptions of computer role, and comfort-level with different computer-oriented tasks during a session. This study suggested that consultants use computers with relative frequency during their consultations for a variety of tasks, including consulting on electronic documents. While more than seventy percent of respondents indicated that they had used computers during their sessions for this purpose, responses to open-ended survey questions suggest that consultants are split when it comes to understanding consultations on electronic documents in the context of best practices. Survey results also suggested the need to critically evaluate SWS software and consultant training with the computer technology available in the Center.

Beyond Writing: The Role of Reading on Writing Attitudes and Usages of the Writing Center

Abstract

Within 2 years of coming to the US and not knowing any English beforehand, I was able to switch out of ESL and take accelerated English classes. I believe reading was one of the main factors that contributed to my writing development, so I wanted to see if my own experience paralleled students' reading and writing experiences in general. Thus, this inquiry aimed to explore the relationship between students' reading background and writing attitudes and confidences. In turn, I also wanted to see how students' reading background affected their main usages of the Center for Writing. In this study, I distributed a survey to 36 consultees and inquired about consultees' reading backgrounds, writing attitudes/confidences now, and main writing center usages. I then used a linear regression model to analyze the correlation between reading and writing. Similar to previous studies, my results showed a significant positive correlation between reading background and current writing attitudes/confidences. I also found that students who read a lot mainly came to the Center for Writing to get readers' feedback, while students who didn't read a lot as kids used the Center for Writing to work on major errors such as thesis and structure. Because my study and previous studies showed the importance of reading on students' writing performance and attitudes, I believe the Center for Writing should be more aware of its existing teachings of reading. As writing consultants, we are already readers of consultants' papers. Now, it's time to acknowledge that fact, embrace it, and use it to further promote the interrelationship between reading and writing.

Inquiry Proceedings: Stimulating the Writer...

"Stimulating the Writer: The Impact of Aesthetic Environment on Writing Center Client Motivation"
by Keely Shaller

My study examined the affect of the aesthetic environment on a client's motivation to initially utilize a campus writing center and their choice to return to that same center. It also attempted to distinguish an environmental difference between the primary writing center locations on the University campus at Appleby and Nicholson Halls.

Participants in the study were 18 clients surveyed during the course of a single consultation. I hypothesized that qualitative client survey data would reflect a distinction between student's perceptions of Appleby and Nicholson writing centers. I also hypothesized that this difference would reflect the individual preferences of students with regars to aesthetic criteria that would be better served by one center over the other.

Survey data and analysis indicates that there is, in fact, a variety of standards that define "environment" in the two primary campus writing centers ranging from the size of tables to the proffesionalism of consultants to walk-in versus appointment based methods. Furthermore, a direct comparison between client experience of both Appleby and Nicholson proved to be less of a focus than I had initially predicted because the majority of those surveyed had only visited one writing center. This seems to imply that the two centers do serve students with different needs and expectations, and suggests that further research that directly compares client usage of both centers may indicate important ammenities and methods that both centers can use and become more aware of to better serve the client base.

Writing Consultants as Mediators between Student and Instructor Expectations

An abstract of my (finally!) completed inquiry paper:

After several sessions in which I found myself placed, uncomfortably, in the middle of student and instructor expectations, I wanted to explore other consultant's perceptions of their role as mediator between student and instructor expectations. While interested initially in a consultant's affective response to these situations, I also wondered how a their perception of this role becomes visable in their practices in sessions. Accordingly, I created a questionnaire that asked consultants to provide both detailed descriptions of specific sessions as well as answers to more general questions about their consulting practices. I only surveyed four consultants, leaving my inquiry much more suggestive than conclusive. However, the responses suggested an interesting new way to think about consultant's roles as mediator. While I had originally thought about it as a defensive role, one consultants are forced into, the responses suggested that it can also be a role that consultants actively choose. These findings, if explored in more depth, might prove useful to writing centers, especially in the training of new consultants.

When I'm With You: Responding to Frequent Flyers

In reaction to the anomaly of frequent flyers (i.e., students who work with a particular consultant on a regular basis) at the Center for Writing, I question whether or not consultants' methods and processes change when consulting with frequent flyers, and whether their relationships move away from "tutoring" ones.

Interviews and recorded consulting sessions of three consultants and their frequent flyers lead to patterns that may be reassuring to the tender tutor. The results show a tendency for tutors to move away from the formal beginning-middle-end structure of a session, and toward a conversation style that is not merely small talk, without the relationship moving away from the professional. It seems that the comfort these fluctuations bring tutors allows them to connect, perhaps more deeply, with tutoring ethics advocated by many writing center scholars, and also provides perspective to consultants who are not specifically trained for frequent flyer situations.

How Much Proofreading is OK?

In this paper I explored what proofreading techniques are implemented by the C4W's consultants and which are not. The purpose was to get a clearer perspective from our consultants so I wouldn't have to worry about the matter so much. I used a survey to ask the consultants about the techniques they used in sessions. I found out, most importantly, that all consultants DO use one proofreading technique or another in a session, and secondly what those techniques are specifically. In particular, some of the techniques used by consultants include fixing grammatical errors or errors in punctuation that occur just once in a paper themselves, fixing articles, and giving the student synonyms when needed (most common).

Confidence in Me: Self-Image, First-Year Writers, and the Center for Writing

The U of M's first-year writing program received a major overhaul this semester, with the creation of the Department of Writing Studies. With that new department came new classes: WRIT 1301 and 1401. In this study, I wanted to look at the groups of students placed into each of these two classes: Were they entirely similar? Were there differences? Specifically, I tried to see if their differences affected how they asked for help with their writing (and, by extension, what that could mean for the Writing Center). I surveyed a total of 57 students--20 from 1301, and 37 from 1401--to look for differences in self-confidence, and in their writing help. I also interviewed one student from each class who had used the Writing Center, in order to get a feel for how their visits may be similar or different.

I found that the 1401 writers tended to be noticeably more self-confident. The differences were pretty stark, actually. I also saw that, as the semester progressed, the 1301 students got more confident, while the 1401 students had a bit of a wake-up call. Also, there seemed to be differences in how they seek help. We get lots more 1301 students here in the Center, and in general the 1301 students seemed more likely to seek out "authority figures" (like teachers, tutors, etc.). The Center sessions described by my two interview subjects were different as well: the 1401 student was much more directive, with more focused goals for her session. The 1301 student was more tentative, which seems to jive with the "authority figure" findings. The group of students were small, but it does seem possible that 1401 students seek more more focused and specific help, so perhaps we can adjust accordingly.

November 25, 2007

well, this is on the other blog too, but i'm JUST THAT MAD!

i also changed my emoticon to a more angry and outraged one, because the other blog was reading it as html and screwing up my post!

this evening, someone i know who is aware that i work in the writing center called me. she had to get my number from someone else, which shows how well we know each other...anyway, she told me that she was supposed to write an essay, due tomorrow morning at 8am, and just realized that at the bottom of the assignment they were asked to visit the writing center. so her request was that she e-mail me her paper and i look over it and let her know how it was. the first thing i thought was, "...there's so many things wrong with that." and just because i can, i'm going to list them for you, although i'm sure you already picked them out.

1.) why should i do work when i'm not actually working?
2.) you can't just E-MAIL me stuff, that's not even collaborative!
3.) WHO is your professor!!

i asked who her professor was, but apparently she likes them. she wouldn't tell me their name. i basically told her that if she wanted to she could come by tomorrow, or perhaps ask her prof for an extension so she could get in an appointment (although i don't know what kind of luck she'll have, i haven't checked the schedule). and i guess that's what she will do.

but SRSLY, the nerve!!

D:<

i mean, can we even do that??? i think the answer would be a resounding NO. i just don't think it's right to ask someone to consult on their personal time, even though i wouldn't call that "consulting," i would call it, "cheap cop-out on doing real work by getting your friend-no, ACQUAINTANCE-who happens to work in the writing center to do it for you".

sincerely,
meher

friends, roman, countrymen; lend me your ears!

listen up, Comrades, i got something to say.

i been looking through my assignments for my classes and see that i have only two papers left to do, and then i'm all done with my undergrad career. i'm out soon and the gravity of the situation has hit me. i'm gonna miss you fools. i wanna make these last few weeks as enjoyable as possible.

for all you players and participaters 21+, i am going to have a little shindig over at grumpys downtown on dec 9 at 8PM. 'twill be a night of decadence not seen since the caesars of ancient rome. i'd be honored if a couple of you show up. otherwise it's just gonna be me drinking beer all evening.

i spent this extended weekend watching judge joe brown and maury and eating cookies and pizza. seriously, i didn't leave my apartment at all on friday or saturday. well, i actually went to the theatre on friday night and to a movie on saturday, but the majority of the time was spent in front of the tv with a 32-pack of sprite and lits of junk food. i'm looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.

and now, please click on the following link to enjoy a crackhead on judge joe brown.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=TP9TRVMxISI

November 21, 2007

You can put it on the boooooooooard...

Yes!

12:03 AM, and we're putting the lid on this puppy. It is, a good day.

Robert Bell, what do you think about all of this?

Well said, my friend. You're not the only one.

Now, there's only one thing left to do...

November 19, 2007

Hoooooooome Stretch!

We're almost done, people!!!

What are YOU going to do to celebrate?

Me? I imagine I'll strut up and down my apartment hallway first along to "Gronlandic Edit" by Of Montreal, and then do an endzone dance in my kitchen to "Trill" by Clipse ("Bitch, I'm trill...Bitch, I'm so trill). Maybe I'll have my roommate shove a pie in my face, just for good measure.

YOUR turn to share!!!

November 17, 2007

one more...

Should I be using more than two sources???? I'm using North and Harris...is that not enough?

INQUIRY PAPER BL:KJSRJJJ

That is how I feel right now...not really, just a lot of questions and I feel like I'm really screwing this up!! Can we have a support group?? Can you all answer some of my questions??

1. Tense- what in the heck tense do I write it in if I'm talking about watching three consultations- i already watched them...do I say "Jack resonded to the student..." Or Jack responds...what do I do??
2. How do you make an appendix? DO you just label it appendix? When you refer to it in the paper, do you say "I gave him a pre-observation questionnaire, see appendix. (?) What do I do??
3. are you combining your results and your conclusion?
4. are youusing headings? The only two I have are methods and results.

Well...i hope this wasn't too much!
Let meknow!

saturday nights filled with inquiry require some levity.

dearest fellow consultants,

i figured you could use this when you decide to rest your cramping hand/wrists.

love,
meherrr!

November 13, 2007

on the topic of youtube. ...

I'm totally going to open up a dance club that looks a little something like this. ...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=O_iCgh9P8ec

OMG GO-GO DANCING IS SO AWESOME!

November 12, 2007

songs about writing

continuing the musical theme (yes, i'm avoiding homework, but this is a good idea).

first off:

The Beatles - Paperback Writer:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=fXOsi6gPvDs


I don't know if this can be topped, actually. This has been one of my favorite songs since I was an eight-year-old soloing on a tennis racket. OMG WRITING IS SO AWESOME!

iPod list, part two

title of the blog posting explains everything. y'all best play along, else it's on like donkey kong.

7 Seconds: "Aim To Please"
Positive hardcore from Reno, NV. One of the best hardcore albums of all times.

Discharge: "Massacre of Innocents [Air Attack]"
There are about a billion punk rock bands influenced by these guys. And their names start with the prefix "Dis-" as well. Loud, angry, raw, somewhat dumb - not stupid, but dumb - hardcore punk.

Derrick Morgan: "Hold Your Jack"
Ahh, here we go. Something more chill. Good first-wave ska, straight from Kingston. Not hippie bob marley stuff, but good, dancable, party music ska.

Live Skull: "5-D"
An unfortunately unsung contemporary of Sonic Youth, from their 1980s Lower East Side art-rock days. Less dependent on feedback and dissonance, Live Skull was much more accessible than the Youth. And much less pretentious.

Wipers: "When It's Over"
I love the Wipers. This track isn't from their best album but I still love them. Proto-punk from Seattle, early 1980s. Kinda aggro-surf, kinda poppy, lots of emphasis on harmony. Imagine if the Kinks were grunge.

Small Faces: "Green Circles"
One of the great mod bands from the 1960s. Musically inferior to the Who and the Kinks and the Yardbirds. ... better than most of the Merseybeat groups [see next group]. ... the Small Faces were, however, quite possibly the best-dressed mod group. So that makes them all right.

The Hollies: "Stay"
Great harmonies, tight songwriting, sometimes schmaltzy, but otherwise fab.

The Regulations: "We Always Know What To Do"
So much punk rock today! What the hell! Excellent hardcore from Umea, Sweden. Total early-80s SoCal sound. Kind like the Avengers and Black Flag and The Crowd, but faster.

The Wailers: "How Many Times"
More 1960s ska. Actually, Bob Marley's group, before they turned all rasta. Damn rasta, making music all bad n stuff.

The Mooney Suzuki: "Electric Sweat"
Okay, so these guys were a kick-ass, old-school, fun-times rock-n-roll combo out of Brooklyn. Super garagey with mod undertones; they most definitely prayed at the altar of the Who. The eponymous album from which this track is taken was super good; makes you roll up your sleeves, jump on the dance floor and shake what yer mama gave ya til the sun comes up. But then, on the album following, instead of writing their own songs, they hired Britney Spears' songwriter - no, I;m not joking - and really sucked it up. They sold more albums on indie labels than they did after making this poor career move. They recently released another album, but they moved from their high-energy sound to a more glossy, 1970s cock-rock sound. Yet another poor choice.

November 10, 2007

back in black (and a red bandana)

hey guys!

i haven't blogged in so long. i miss it! i miss reading all your intellectually stimulating (and otherwise) comments and speculations. i don't know about you guys, but my life has taken a turn for CRAZY. srsly, i've never been so busy. no wait that's a lie, because that's exactly what i said last year around this point in the semester. so, by extensive use of logic and deduction, it is that point in the semester when everything goes nuts.

by the way, it's super cold in my room, which is causing many typing mistakes. my fingers can't handle the pressure without slipping up a little, do forgive them. *goes to find a sweater*

yeah, so back to crazy busy! i've got a midterm monday, a huuuuge drawing project due tuesday, and of course, my inquiry paper to work on. thankfully my graphics studio prof has given us a break, but not for long, so i'm taking advantage of my time.

but here's the REAL reason i blogged today. as i've already established by my halloween costume,Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucketmy dad is a pretty cool guy. last night he and i were having a great conversation. somehow we started talking about when he first came to america and was going to school, and he was telling me how hard it was for him to adjust to going to school here. when i asked him why he told me that although he was very fluent in english (he and my mom attended british schools), the system of education was so different here that it was hard for him to understand the expectations of his professors. there is also a lot of importance placed on presentations in america, since we use them as one of our main means of communication of ideas in education and the workplace. (case in point, research presentations!) but not in india. i started thinking of my dad as a non-native speaker back in 1970, going to his university writing center, and said to myself, "cuuuuuute!"

i'm pretty sure he didn't have a writing center at his university, but still, he was in the same position as many non-native speakers that come into the c4w. it's incredible to think he was at that point back then, because he's had so much experience in the business world by now. that's 30+ years of work right there. i was also talking to him about urdu (which he brought up, because he loves talking about it) and i discovered that i don't actually know urdu. i know HYDERABADI urdu. hyderabad is a city in india and apparently has a very colloquial version of the actual language of urdu. it's a combination of hindi and farsi, as well as some arabic i think. the other day when i was talking to Jayashree, she told me that she finds it hard to insult someone in urdu. and i was like ARE YOU FER SRS?! because i'm really familiar with some pretty heavy duty swear words, i love them. but what i discovered is that all of those words, adopted by urdu-speaking hyderabadis, are actually hindi words. so pure urdu is to hyderbadi urdu as british english is to american english. HUGE difference! my dad gave me an example of how he and his friends used to make fun of those "pure urdu speakers": instead of saying "your mom" you would say something like "instead of praising your mother, i am going to insult her." it was so great.

by the way, for those of you who didn't know, i found out that freddie mercury was INDIAN. that just upped my cool factor by about 10%! and i was already pretty cool to begin with! anyway, so now i'm thinking about languages and all the cool ways they can be used. i wish i had time to do stuff again, because then i could learn some more about urdu. oh well, i always have...when i'm old, i guess...yeah.

one other thing i have to mention: for all of those who heard my "little brother being eaten" story, i should mention that in the nightmare my brother was a muppet. it was scary and sad. i hate nightmares. i'm glad i don't have a little brother so he can't be a muppet and get eaten. see you all on tuesday!

November 9, 2007

Humor, Will Robinson!

A Robot Performs Standup Comedy to A Lackluster Response.

Space and the WC

After seeing the first two conferences, I have been thinking a lot about our C4W space. Keeley has had me reevaluating the aesthetics of our two main spaces. Unlike what Keeley seemed to be implying, however, I think that the Nicholson space is immeasurably more welcoming than that of Appleby. This is important in thinking about aesthetics in the context of Gabe's research on CE students. Gabe mentioned that he was interested in what happens as CE student get older and more comfortable at the University, expanding their comfort zones. What happens, then, when these students, who have been encouraged to use SWS Appleby, want an appointment and switch to Nicholson? I don't think it's very difficult to see that Nicholson has had much better funding then Appleby; how do students who make the switch feel about this issue? How does this reflect on C4W as a whole or the University?

November 8, 2007

Presentations

I am leaving the presentations before the Q & A today. I am looking forward to hearing them and I apologize to the presenters that I won't be there for all of it. In order to participate, I will be blogging my questions etc on the presentations. Sorry again.

November 7, 2007

c4w? or motel 6?

I'm sure many of you will recall the discussion about the use of space in Nicholson, influenced by Keely's wonderful discussion of the aesthetics of the writing center. One of the points mentioned was about how the crew of first- or second-year students often come in hand hang out in the waiting area. Well, today, one of them decided to recline on the oversized ottoman-thing that's located right under the window. Now, I felt that was taking things a bit too far. After getting second opinions from fellow consultants, we decided it was appropriate to put the kaibosh on that little catnap. I stroll over and say, "Excuse me, but I must ask you to not nap on our furniture. This is the waiting area for our clients." Has anyone else had to lay down the law for persons who made themselves too comfortable?

so the whole presenting thing wasn't so bad...

I just felt compelled to say that, although I was un-necessarily nervous before our research panel kick-off yesterday, I thought it was a great initiation to a conference experience. My fellow presenters did an awesome job, and I was surprise by how much feedback was offered at the end. I don't know how much any of us can really expand or change our questions and scope for our projects at this point, but it makes it clear that the "research process" never really ends, because outside perspectives will always bring up new ways to consider the questions.

I'm excited, (and a tad relieved, to be in the audience on Thursday!

(and I am SO mad, because I think I have a family obligation on Friday during the soup party!!!! I'm trying to get out of it, guys, and I'll rsvp asap Emily and Maggie!)

For the tea drinkers. . .

Fancy Man Enjoys tea.

Also: this is the 100th post on this blog. I propose a feast. I will bring the roasted boar.

November 2, 2007

hey...we want to cook for you

Dearest classmates (and other undergrads too),

Maggie and I would like to remind you to let us know if you'll be coming over on November 9th. We want to make sure we plan for the right amount of people, and we'd really rather not drown ourselves in vats of soup when none of you show up...[sigh].

Just know that this is what you'll be missing...

Thanks! Hopefully we see you then!

November 1, 2007

If blogging counts as classwork, it can count as research...right?

I know some of you already blogged on this for me, but I thought I'd invite you all to help me with my research once again.

I like the blog because it gives you all an opportunity to share whatever you like without me having to actually conduct interviews. I'll share with you a snippet of my paper to give you an idea of what I'm looking for: "My research is focused on actions and attitudes of consultants regarding computer use during face-to-face consultations... How do SWS-Nicholson consultants use computers during their consultations? How do consultants feel about computers? In Nicholson, what role do the style of computer and its position and orientation in the carrel play? Does posession or ownership of a computer play a role?" Please share your experiences with me; I will get your consent before I use any of it directly in my paper. Even if it isn't what I'm looking for now, perhaps it will help me see what I should be looking for.

A 3-day Inquiry about Writing and Consulting Conference

Tue 6 Nov: Devious Observers: On the Boundaries of the C4W
4:05 John Sharkey, Confidence In Me: Student Writers in WRIT 1301/1401

4:18 Miranda Trimmier, Writing Consultants as Mediators between Student and Teacher Expectations

4:31 Keely Shaller, Stimulating the Writer: The Impact of Aesthetic Environment on Writing Center Client Motivation

4:44 Meher Khan, The Subculture of the Writing Center


Thur 8 Nov: Uncovering the Values of Writers and Consultants

4:05 Gabe Rodriguez-Doerr, Cultural Contexts of Commanding English Writers

4:16 Brittany Clausell, Writing Outside the Margins: An Analysis of the Writing Experiences of Multilingual Individuals

4:27 Jenna Krause, Beliefs, Practices, and Flexibility: Case Study of One Writing Consultant

4:38 Grant Grays, Examining the Motivations of First-Year Writing Consultants

4:49 Wendy Smith, Hiring Undergrad Peer Tutors


Tue 13 Nov: Zooming in on Writing Center Experiences

4:05 Yi Yu, Beyond Writing: The Role of Reading on Writing Attitudes and Relationships with the Writing Center

4:18 Emily Lind, Computers in Face-to-Face Writing Consultations

4:31 Emily Schnobrich, Responding to Frequent Flyers

4:44 Maggie Whelan, Perceptions of Proofreading: How Much is Okay?