Saturday, July 09, 2005

Can it really be DAY ONE of the conference?

Well, gentle reader, after the workshop and the assessment institute, we’ve finally arrived at the first day of the conference. The first panel I went to today focused on honors composition (btw, thanks for a great panel, Barbara, Jeanne Marie, and Greg). We had some discussion here of positioning honors composition in such a way as to counter the deficit quality that dogs first year writing. In other words, honors comp allows us to argue that FYW isn’t about getting students ready to do “real” college work; rather, it’s an opportunity for all writers to improve. Such lines of argument, recollected strongly for me the reoccurring argument that writing centers are for all writers, not just those needing “remediation.”

However, the panel most directly oriented towards the writing center was “Writing Center Directors as WPAs: Rethinking Roles, Territories, Writing and Mentoring.” Here, a group of writing center directors spoke about the issues and opportunities that arise when writing center directors interrogate the intersection of the writing center and the WPA. During their talks, the presenters raised such issues as:

• Who is a WPA?
• When one individual holds both roles, where does their identity as director of Composition stop and Director of the Writing Center begin?
• Why -- when we all are involved in teaching, administration, research and service -- is the writing center so central to our professional identities?
• On your campus, are you *a* WPA or the WPA? What’s the difference?
• What should the relationship between the writing center and the writing program be (with a nod to Mark Waldo, of course!)?

While I have no definitive answers to offer, I think the questions themselves are something all writing center directors should consider . . . but now, it’s time to get off to my next session.

More later!

2 Comments:

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