Inventing the Writing Center

Building off earlier conversations, the writing center, first and foremost, must be a place to foster ones, well, everything. Foster creativity, kindness, writing potential, etc.

In my own writing center, I’d like a smoothie bar. No kidding. Or like a juice bar. Let’s give out fruit that’ll make everyone happy and healthy. Fruit for everyone. Oranges, bananas, pineapple, strawberries, you name it. In a drink. Refreshing. Add some granola and make a fruit bowl. Get the writing juices flowing (budum tssss).

If I were to invent a writing center, besides a smoothie bar, it’s imperative (apologies for my go-to vocabulary word I’ve used in just about every post as a substitute to ‘important’) to have tutors that are open, kind, patient, and respectable. When dealing with the plagiarism praxis, the tutors kept calm and exposed the truth behind the matter: what’s happening is plagiarism, but no, I won’t turn you in, and here’s how to fix it. Personally I would’ve gotten heated, but tutors like that are what the writing center needs. Agents who are factual, knowledgable, know how to manipulate the English language in purely beneficial ways.

An open space, no cubicles, only square tables with four chairs per table. Cubicles seem so closed and don’t allow for a lot of leg room. With four chairs per table, it makes group editing easier (though I’m not sure if there’s ever been a group writing center session. I guess it’s not unheard of). Next to the smoothie bar there should be a water fountain. Wall decor would be nice too.

I’m going back and forth in thought over whether or not tutors should have name tags. No uniform should be required, but I think a name tag would be nice. At the same time, not having a name tag allows the tutors to introduce themselves on a more social and personal level. I’m conflicted.

Miscellaneous afterthought:

  • tutor selection process – student can check off boxes (options) to find a tutor that best suits them (commonalities in majors/minors, extra-curricular activities, etc).
  • have tutors that specialize in certain types of written work:
    • research papers
    • fiction/creative nonfiction writing, poetry
    • lab reports
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