Hai! My name’s David, and I’ve been a Writing Center consultant for three months. This is my first consultant diary, so I thought I would talk about what I find most rewarding about this wonderful job.
When I transferred to Michigan State last fall, I came to The Writing Center mainly looking for a steady university job that put my writing skills to use. Coming from spending a year at my last college’s newspaper publication as a section editor and writer, I imagined working in a writing center to be very similar to my work at the (shameless plug) White Pine Press.
Boy was I wrong.
The day I visited Bessey Hall to find out how to join up, a workshop was being conducted for what I assume to be a group of freshmen teaching them what the writing center was. As I waited to meet with our receptionist, Cathy, I passively listened to the workshop taking place. ‘Is this all I’m going to be doing here?’ I thought, suddenly immensely grateful for taking a Public Speaking class in the spring. But when I was told I would be required to enroll in a 3 credit class as part of my training to become a writing consultant, my expectations went from simple presentations explaining writing styles and grammar rules to something much, much bigger. Continue reading
In WRA 395, Writing Center Theory, students watch a movie about the different ways culture impacts writing.
I’m a new consultant with a brand new job in my senior year of college. I had no idea what to expect when I walked into my first day of staff orientation at The Writing Center. I had been receiving mass emails, some were full of jargon that made absolutely no sense at the time, and I had taken WRA 395, the writing center theory class, but I had no idea what other work I would be doing besides consulting.
During my interview with Trixie and Dianna, The Writing Center directors, I was told that consultants were expected to help out with workshops and take part in committees, but what were the workshops and committees? Was this a requirement of every consultant? Did I get to pick what I took part in? It turns out there is a committee for almost everything, and if there isn’t a committee for what you want to do with The Writing Center, you can probably just start one. And I got to choose which committee I wanted to join, and I joined the Website Content Committee, which was a serious sigh of relief for me, at least I could pick something I somewhat understood.
Basically my first few weeks working at The Writing Center gave me insight to how much more the staff does besides consult. In the past, I had only ever visited The Writing Center for help with my writing; I hadn’t imagined all the other work that went on behind the scenes. I never imagined committees, conferences, workshops, creating videos, and even writing articles or columns like this very one. And furthermore, all the extra work the consultants take part in seems to provide a learning opportunity, an experience, and something to add to a resume.
In short, my first few weeks gave me a lot more insight to what The Writing Center does.