It Begins with a Mentality: Disability and the Writing Center


Disability and Writing Centers, Graduate Students, Social Justice Committee, Student Voices, The Online Writing Center, Writing Center Theory, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers, Writing Fellows

By Sarah Groeneveld. The day I met Laura (a pseudonym) was a memorable one. It was a slow day at the Writing Center last January, and I had a free hour in the middle of my shift. Laura was scheduled to meet with me later, but had mistaken the time of our appointment and had […]

December 12, 2011

When a Warm Welcome Becomes a Learning Experience


Writing Center Receptionists, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

“Hello? I’m not really sure how this works. I’m hoping to have someone look at my paper…”

Before our students sit down with one of us for the first time at the Writing Center…

Before the opening chit chat…

Before the delving into concerns and ideas…

Before they begin to explore the power of talk for their writing process…

Before all of that, each of our students has to work up the courage to dial our number or to find their way from a packed elevator in a strange building down the hall to our door. In this post I want to take a moment to focus on what happens when our eventual students hit call on their phone or stride into our waiting area for the first time. That’s because, although we might think that learning in the Writing Center begins in earnest once tutor and tutee sit down over a draft for the first time, we should also remember that that first encounter is a packed educational moment, too.

December 6, 2011

Feeling Welcome in Florida: Writing Fellows Attend the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing


Writing Fellows

By Rebecca Furdek. I was privileged to attend the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing (NCPTW) at Florida International University in Miami earlier this month with my co-Writing Fellows, Alexis Brown and Patrick B. Johnson. As the title of the Conference, “Tutors, Tutoring, and the Teaching of Tutors” suggests, the over 100 individual, panel, […]

November 14, 2011

Practicing — and Reading — Revision in Tutor Education Courses


Classes, UW-Madison Writing Center Alumni Voices, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers, Writing Fellows

This semester, I’ve been thinking a lot about revision. Well, okay, I always think a lot about revision; it’s essential to my writing center work, my classroom teaching, and my own writing (I am the queen of Shitty First Drafts, as described in the second chapter of Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird). But lately I’ve […]

October 31, 2011

Join Us “On the Isthmus” at the 2011 MWCA Biennial Conference!


Events, Midwest Writing Centers Association, UW-Madison Writing Center Alumni Voices, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Rebecca Lorimer and Elisabeth Miller. The 2011 Midwest Writing Centers Association Biennial Conference will take place here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison October 20th-22nd. This year’s theme, “On the Isthmus,” gestures quite literally to the conference’s location, but also to the quality that makes this conference unique: just as writing centers bridge disciplines, locations, […]

October 17, 2011

Co-Teaching as Synthesis: Learning to Ask Questions


Outreach, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

The students in Professor Rebekah Willett’s first-year course on the Internet and Society are crouched over their desks and laptops, some scribbling, some typing, some doing so fervently, some reluctantly. All are working to formulate a couple of sentences that synthesize two paragraphs of text they have in front of them. I’ve just walked with […]

October 10, 2011

Who Needs a Muse? The Real Reasons Why UW-Madison Students Are Attracted to Ongoing Appointments


Graduate Students, Multilingual Writers, Student Voices, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing Center Tutors, Writing Centers

By Rachel Carrales. The summer before last, I spent a month traveling through France, Italy, and Spain. It was a whirlwind trip, and I was only able to spend a day or two in each city I visited. It was so fast, in fact, that I find myself remembering only snippets of things: the fat, […]

October 3, 2011