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Showing posts from May, 2007

Writing Center Videos

Given that I'm working on a couple of video projects (one currently in production with my colleague Tiffany Rousculp and one in pre-planning stage), I've been interested in what others have done related to writing centers. Most of the videos found on Youtube are advertisements for writing center work. There are a couple of humorous ones out there (1, and 2) but one serious one stands out in that it seems to define writing center work quite well is from Evergreeen State:

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I like how they've taken the voice and integrated it with the image.

The small conference & IWCA

English Department colleague Jason Pickavance recently had an article published on insidehighered.com where he explores the benefits of smaller conferences:

Here’s what you won’t find at TYCA-West or most other smaller, regional conferences. You won’t be subjected to the name-badge-glance-and-turn, a move I’ve always for some reason viewed as akin to a basketball player’s expert pivot. (If only the Utah Jazz center could pivot like that.) Instead, you will encounter colleagues at peer institutions genuinely interested to meet you and hear what you have to say.

I've found that this is true of the International Writing Centers Association Conference as well (to an extent.) When I first stated attending IWCA, I was pleased that there were folks there whom I had known online or (and this increased the gulp factor) people I admired for their published work. I had the opportunity to become a part of a community (or to use more academic parliance--a discourse community.) By allowing for…

Rubber tree plant

SLCC President Cynthia Bioteau and SLCC Developmental Education Division Chair discussed the roll of a community college in general and the role of SLCC in particular yesterday on KCPW. (Click on the bottom link.) This was in response to the PBS/Learning Matters documentary Discounted Dreams: High Hopes and Harsh Realities at America's Community Colleges. I haven't had the opporunity to see the documentary yet, and will not comment directly on it at this time.

Summer movies

My colleague Tiffany Rousculp (of the SLCC Community Writing Center) and I are making a short video of our tutor alumni. We got it down to the 5 minutes we're seeking today and I'm quite pleased with the results. The movie will be shown to the SLCC Board of Trustees because we want to show them that the work that goes on in a writing center has a broader impact than just on the student or community writers who go to our respective centers. Our purpose is to demonstrate that peer writing consultants learn a great deal and are, indeed, shaped by their writing center experiences.

I will probably post the final version of the video on PeerCentered, since it is about peer tutoring.

Summer in the center

Summer is a great season in the Student Writing Center, but not because it is a "less busy" time of the year. While there are proportionally fewer students taking summer classes, and SLCC is only open 4 days a week, we have a considerably smaller staff of writing advisers and student writers are often working fast and furious to complete their assignments on the compressed 11 or 8 week syllabus. One could argue (and I could research this statistically) that we are busier than a normal semester in the Student Writing Center.

The fact that we're busy, however, doesn't deter from the fact that we get more non-tutoring work (thinking about the Center, developing programs, creating advertising, etc.) done in the summer time than any other. Part of me wants to attribute this productivity to peer writing advisers being so busy that the energy from that work spills over into a desire to do more. I believe that may be the case for some of the work, but I must admit that …

Yet another side project? or "Aye Calypso we sing to your spirit!"

"How many side projects to I really need?" I thought to myself while riding the train in to campus today. " I mean my hell! Do you really need another blog?" I've been wanting to fiddle around with WordPress more lately, given that it is the system that is currently in use on writingcenters.org. And I needed an index for my account on the Student Writing Center's web server, Bessie (there is a history behind that name that I will explore at some point on UWCG.) I've been meaning to develop my account on that server given that all my previous professional work was removed from our old Student Writing Center web site because of a change over in how the web server works and general Community College policies. I find that people ask me questions that could easily be answer by a site like this, and I want to organize my work in ways that help me to understand it and, more importantly, remember it!

I am anticipating that any reader who would stumble upon …