East Central Writing Centers Association
Siena Heights University (Adrian, Michigan)
This presentation is based on a short story by Caleb Cook, an IPFW Writing Center consultant, and inspired by two articles: “Collaboration, Control, and the Idea of a Writing Center” by Andrea Lunsford and “Maintaining Our Balance: Walking the Tightrope of Competing Epistemologies” by Eric H. Hobson. Updated into a dramatic reading by another IPFW consultant, Melissa Rentfrow, this story is a writing center allegory about one university student’s adventure through a parallel world of competing epistemological theories in search of writing assistance. In this fairy tale, Ty Trope is a student despondent that, due to funding cuts, the Learn University Writing Center has been closed indefinitely. In desperate need of help with his writing project, he chances a leap through a magical window into an alternate universe where each location represents a theoretical model embracing a different epistemology. With the help of Anita Reeder, a sassy (and unemployed) Learn University Writing Center consultant, Ty struggles through each scenario to find the perfect consulting experience. Eventually, the story unfolds to reveal what happens when a fictional writing center world loses its “balance” by focusing on only one epistemological foundation or theoretical model to the exclusion of others.
Higher Education Administration
Mary Arnold Schwartz and Colin Brown (2005).
Falling off the Tightrope: One Student’s Epistemological Adventure. Presented at East Central Writing Centers Association, Siena Heights University (Adrian, Michigan).