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"Writing Centers and Inter-Institutional Writing Strategies" a Presentation at the Conference on College Composition and Communication 2016

I want to share a story with you.  It is a story that I’ve shared before in venues like this.  It is a story that I’ve shared in just talking with folks about peer tutors and writing centers.   While I do apologize for the repetition, I must add that this is one of those stories that I repeat not simply because it is a good story, but, more because it is a foundational story to my work at a community college.  I usually call it “A Tale of Woe and Intrigue.”

Way back in the 90s when I was pretty new to my writing center directing gig, I was presenting at local TYCA conference about developing the SLCC Student Writing gCenter.  It was a pretty standard writing center start-up story, overall--Nothing really any different from other types of institutions, I supose. You can imagine, then, during the question time, that I was rather taken aback when my whole presentation and premise for hiring peer tutors was dismissed by a writing center colleague from another community college.

“Our stu…

Keynote Address for the Middle Eastern & North African Writing Centers Alliance Conference

Sustaining Writing & Writing Centers Adapting & Growing Under Challenging Conditions




November 7, 2014 Canadian University of Dubai
Thank you and good afternoon.
I've been told by very reliable sources (students) that funny cat videos get people’s attention and help you make new friends.  Since I want to do both, here goes nothing.


But if that didn’t get your attention, here’s another one.



Sorry for that.
But I did get your attention, right?  Getting the attention of people isn't always the easiest thing to do. I think we know that as teachers.
In the classroom, I find that starting with writing tends to get everyone’s attention, and gets them focussed on the subject matter  In the spirit of engaging you with my subject matter this afternoon, like the inveterate teacher of writing that I am, I’m going to have you do a bit of writing.  About a month or so ago, I was chatting online with my writing center colleague Dawn Fels, who you may remember served as the Internatio…

Postcards from the Gulf

Day 1:  Dubai November 6, 2014 The flight to Dubai was long. I left Salt Lake City at 10 am our and arrived in Dubai at 8 pm local time. That's 10am mountain time. I was traveling for 24 hours, in other words. The flight from DC to Dubai took 12 hours. I had no idea airplanes could fly so far for so long. We flew over Syria and the disputed areas in Iraq. I thought about surface-to-air missiles and the horrible fate of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 the whole time. When I arrived at the Dubai airport, I made it through passport control with an very entertainingly official passport agent, who loved his stamps, and could shuffle through a passport with precision. He found page seven of my passport with alacrity. His shuffling of a passport would put a Vegas black jack dealer to shame. He clearly enjoyed his job, and was extra happy to provide my visa stamp. I learned later that passport control jobs are a job of honor for young male United Arab Emirates (UAE) citizens and that they ar…