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Everyday Writing Center

A Community of Practice

Anne E. Geller, Michele Eodice, Frankie Condon, Meg Carroll, Elizabeth H. Boquet

Publication Year: 2007

In a landmark collaboration, five co-authors develop a theme of ordinary disruptions ("the everyday") as a source of provocative learning moments that can liberate both student writers and writing center staff. At the same time, the authors parlay Etienne Wenger’s concept of "community of practice" into an ethos of a dynamic, learner-centered pedagogy that is especially well-suited to the peculiar teaching situation of the writing center. They push themselves and their field toward deeper, more significant research, more self-conscious teaching.

Published by: Utah State University Press


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pp. v

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pp. 1-4

This book has its origins, as many academic books do, in conversations over dinner and drinks at conferences, WCenter listserv back-chatter over email, and informal exchanges about the intrigues and curiosities of the everyday in our writing centers and institutions. The five of us represent writing center directors at small, medium, and large colleges ...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 5-14

Walk through a morning with us—we're out the door, heading to campus, strolling into the building, pulling out the office keys, and flipping on the lights. You know, the routine: turn on the computer, take off the coat, get to work. The voice mail message light blinks "Good Morning" in its own Morse code; the computer sings as it powers up, dinging one, ...

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2. Trickster at Your Table

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pp. 15-31

Walk with us now through another doorway, this time not into the physical space of the writing center, but into the mythical space of Trickster. Doorways represent, in fact, crossroads for Trickster figures, sites of contingency and leakage. Lewis Hyde writes, "All Tricksters like to hang around the doorway, that being one of the places where deep-change ...

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3. Beat (Not) the (Poor) Clock

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pp. 32-47

Think about how time works in your writing center. When does your staff—when do you—have too little time? Too much? If those questions are too abstract, try these: When do you think of time being wasted in the writing center? Why? How often do you check to see how many appointment slots are full and how many are empty? Do you allow ...

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4. Origami Anyone? Tutors as Learners

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pp. 48-71

A chapter on tutors as learners may, at this point, seem redundant, since we try throughout this book to highlight the ways in which we are all learning all the time as we engage in our work. Nevertheless, this chapter is designed to highlight the need for a mindfulness to the work of teaching in a writing center environment and to call for an attention ...

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5. Straighten Up and Fly Right: Writers as Tutors, Tutors as Writers

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pp. 72-86

In this chapter, we build from the impromptu, from the idea of saying yes to the gift. The writers who come to our centers and the tutors who work in them bring us everyday gifts of themselves and of their communities of practice, communities where they live outside of "normal" school time (and where they experience that "eternal ‘now,’" places ...

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6. Everyday Racism: Anti-Racism Work and Writing Center Practice

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pp. 87-106

As we have drafted the chapters of this book, we have had the benefit of being in conversation not only with each other but also with the network of tutors and directors brought together and sustained by organizations like the International Writing Centers Association (IWCA), National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing (NCPTW), Summer Institute, ...


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pp. 107-109

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7. Everyday Administration, or Are We Having Fun Yet?

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pp. 110-132

Do you lead like Gandhi? Bill Clinton? Mother Theresa? JFK? In developing scholarly arguments about administration and leadership for our manuscript, we stumbled on a very important data collection instrument: the Famous Leader Test.1 We five took the challenge, and our results are listed above. (It will be up to you, reader, to guess which one ...


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pp. 133-137


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pp. 138-141


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pp. 142-144

E-ISBN-13: 9780874216622
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874216561

Publication Year: 2007