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  • Damon Wright

The Conversation Center

The typical conception of the MC Writing Center is a community that fosters relationships through the improvement or refinement of various writing assignments. The center provides a welcoming and nurturing environment the second anyone enters through the glass door.

Whether one is coming in to get some candy from the receptionist’s desk, talk to a friend, find a place to study, or genuinely work on an assignment, the writing center welcomes all without question. There is one aspect of the writing center that goes under the radar but truly makes the institution unique and special. This aspect is the open conversation shared by both tutors and writers.

In the 52 hours that the writing center is open per week, a myriad of topics are discussed among those present in the room. These topics and conversations range from small talk to deep discussions about the ins and outs of people’s lives. No matter the subject, there is a sense of trust and openness within the confines of the room.

One of my favorite discussions occurred during my first semester as a tutor in the writing center. During my typical Wednesday night shift from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., former tutor Krista Brown and former receptionist Taylor Hathorn began a complex discussion about the best variations of potato. Common number one choices included hash browns, French fries, and tater tots. Hash browns are the best variant of potato and if any reader of this blog disagrees, please come see me in the writing center, and I will gladly explain why you are wrong.

Another conversation that was short (but nonetheless important) was the best variation of peanut butter. James Flickner, one of our amazing receptionists and an overall great human being, argued that Jif is the best brand of peanut butter. I cannot weigh in on the argument because of my peanut allergy, so I will leave that opinion up for interpretation.

Aside from food conversations, the writing center also boasts conversations pertaining to life and creates unbreakable bonds. One of the biggest bonds that connects many writing center tutors is the horror stories of English capstone. This is the most difficult course in the English Writing major and many tutors relate to the difficulties that come with the course. However, despite the “horror” of getting through capstone, many tutors gain invaluable relationships with peers and leave the university prepared to accomplish any potential challenges that life has to offer.

A final aspect of conversations in the center comes when writers themselves join in on the discussions. From a one-on-one discussion to a full room conversation, writers’ engagement in these conversations promotes the development of relationships in the center. Employees and clients grow closer socially and academically when clients present ideas and topics. This discourse is the pure essence that sets the MC Writing Center apart from any institution on this campus.

These are only a few of the examples of conversations that occur in the writing center. It is important to mention that everyday conversations pertaining to popular culture and events going on in the world occur like in any other social setting, but the above examples give a glimpse as to what it is like being in the center.

However, this blog post does not even scratch the surface of what it truly feels like to be in the writing center and genuinely experience a discussion. Even if a person has no affiliation with the writing center, I believe it is a special atmosphere to be a part of.

Right now, we have online appointments available, so you can experience the writing center wherever you are. Visit today!

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