Being a Writing Center consultant isn’t always the most glamorous job. Students may come into the Center with different expectations than you, resulting in a frustrating or uneventful discussion. Maybe students only show up for extra credit, or maybe they are having a bad day. This is when the job is work. This is when a consultant digs deeper to help a student in distress. In order to work through rough times, both the student and consultant need to work together to find a middle ground. By working together for the good of the paper, negative consultations can quickly turn into positive experiences. Though the difficulty of a tough consultation is bearable, the exhilaration of a good consultation is unexplainable.
When you really click with a student, being a consultant is no longer a job. You become a friend, a shoulder to lean on. Discussion is fruitful and has purpose. The student may even start making corrections of their own. The most memorable sessions happen when you really vibe with the student with whom you are working. When the student is engaged and interested in learning, it is easy to suggest changes and have an open conversation about his or her writing. As a consultant, these are the consultations I strive to have every day. I know the student benefitted from the Writing Center, and that is what our service is all about.
The best feeling in the world is when a student walks away from a consultation a better writer. A perfect example of this is when a consultant transitions into a teaching role, giving a mini lesson and expanding a student’s knowledge of grammar rules or other aspects of writing. The most special moments are when something you teach students clicks in their minds and changes the way that they write. No number of hours on a timecard can amount to knowing you made an influence on someone’s academic experience at John Carroll. When this magical moment happens, being a consultant is no longer work, and that is why my job is so rewarding.
Angela Baumgardner is a first year writing consultant. She is a sophomore studying Political Science and Human Resources!