By Samitha Senanayake—After completing an asynchronous feedback appointment and glancing, often with tired eyes, at the neat blocks of paragraphs in the global or summary comment, I feel good: job done! But it’s only recently that I’ve begun to wonder what the same paragraphs might make a student feel. Even before they read the text, what must feedback in the form of paragraphs feel like, sound like? In the same way, does a track change on Microsoft Word […]
By Maya Osaka, University of North Carolina at Charlotte—”Sorry, can you repeat that?” // My client begins again—this is the second time I’ve asked them to do so during our session, and as their voice begins to fade away I know I’ll likely have to ask them to repeat themself for a third time. It is humiliating. With each moment where I struggle to pull their voice out of the never-ending tsunami of sensory stimuli it’s being washed away in, I can’t help but to think about… the lights, actually. Their dull fluorescence soaks into every bookcase, desk, and notepad. Even the grooves in the fabric covering of the cubicle walls, each detail drenching my brain in a haze of static.
By Ellen Cecil-Lemkin—The first in-person International Writing Centers Association (IWCA) Conference since 2019 was held from October 26 to 29, 2022 at Vancouver, British Columbia. Sherry Wynn Perdue, IWCA president, wrote, “Attended by almost 500 members from all over the world, our annual conference offered presenters and attendees an opportunity to converse and conspire, so we may reconceive our roles as […]
By Mario Ramirez-Arrazola, University of Oklahoma—In writing center work, It is hard to refrain from thinking about the writing center as the client’s endpoint, and yet it is important to recognize the varied movements and progressions that bring writers to us. Before entering the space of the writing center, they have had to travel through a journey of self-contained experiences, which affected them in either grand or negligible ways. When they walk out, perhaps never to be seen again, their stories don’t stop there. […]
By Joseph Franklin, New York City College of Technology—I am writing this at a bamboo table and simple folding chair combo. I am using Microsoft Word on a Mac laptop mounted on a Roost laptop stand and using a Logitech ERGO K860 keyboard that supports my wrists. I am playing instrumental music by Grandbrothers through Sennheiser PXC 550 noise canceling headphones and I have notifications turned off on all devices. These tools (and others) have been curated […]
Another Word, the award-winning writing center blog from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is currently seeking proposals for blog posts to be published in 2023. We seek proposals from writing center administrators, professional staff, undergraduate and graduate tutors, and those invested in writing center studies on a broad range of topics related to administering, tutoring, training, and working in the writing center.
By Kelle Alden, The University of Tennessee at Martin—Any university administrator will agree that accessible spaces are important, as they provide necessary services to disabled individuals and signify our commitment to equitable education. However, federal guidelines are complex, writing center staff are bound by political, financial, and practical constraints, and most people cannot imagine navigating […]
For the past several weeks, here at the Writing Center, we’ve been busily preparing for the start of the semester. From planning the schedule to organizing writing groups to developing tutor training materials […]
By Shannon Mooney—Many years ago, while I was working as an undergraduate tutor, students from a local high school visited our writing center as they worked towards implementing a center at their school. During a group lunch, one of the high schoolers posed a question to our writing center’s tutors and staff: How do tutors who are shy or introverted manage their anxiety or nervousness when interacting with so many different people in writing center spaces? As a shy tutor, I should have attempted to answer the question; instead, […]
By Molly Parsons, Keene State College—I am the assistant director of a writing center at a regional public college in the Northeast. My title, “assistant director,” is a recent upgrade (from “program assistant”) and an acknowledgment of my advanced degrees (I have a PhD in English and Education). The pay and terms of my position are otherwise unchanged—I am a part-time, adjunct staff member and earn the same salary and benefits (none) as I did before the title change. I occupy two distinct but conflated positions: I am both an academic (by job description) and an hourly, contingent employee (by pay and job security). I’m a veritable chimera […]