Document Type


Presentation Date


Conference Name

East Central Writing Centers Association

Conference Location

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