Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search This Transcript

Tristan DeWitt: Are you currently at the University of Arkansas?

Carey Clark: I'm currently at the University of Central Arkansas, yes. 

TD: So, when did you work in the writing center at the University of Louisville?

CC: Okay, well I came to U of L in 1998 and I had been an undergraduate tutor when I was getting my bachelors at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and also a graduate assistant in that writing center, because I did a masters there 1:00as well, and came to Louisville in 98' to get my PhD. I knew early on that I wanted a career in writing centers. So, I got to U of L and I was kind of in shock because I was told there wasn't a writing center.

TD: Oh, really!

CC: Yeah! So, I didn't really know what to do, you know. I was still kind of doing writing center work and that kind of thing, but in talking to some people and another graduate assistant, Tim Castellano, actually, I found out that there was in fact a writing center, it just wasn't associated with the English Department and it was a writing center that Ruth Miller was directing, and I'm going to forget the name of the building. Is Strickler at U of L?

TD: Yes.

CC: Yes, okay! I was in Strickler and it was kind of, I can't remember what U of L called it back then, but it was kind of like the developmental writing or 2:00transitional writing kind of department, or whatever. So, some of the faculty were kind of just telling me there wasn't a writing center, but there actually was, so I got to do kind of some research for class. I did a qualitative research methods class with Carol Berkenkotter. She was visiting. So, I did that at the writing center. Then, Carol Mattingly came, and I think that I want to say that was in-- It was either in 2000 or 2001 that she came. Do you know?

TD: No, unfortunately.

CC: Okay, so she came and she actually started the writing center that is now where you work. Except for, I think you guys have moved from the second floor to the first floor, right?

TD: Yeah, right now we're on the first floor of the Library.

CC: Yeah, that's awesome. So, when Carol came, she was going to hire-- So, Ruth 3:00Miller, who was directing that other writing center, came and was Carol's associate director. She was going to hire PhD students for GA-ships, to be her assistant directors, and I don't know how many lines she anticipated having, how many GA-ships she anticipated having, but there ended up being four of us that first year. I remember that other grad students were a year ahead of me, or two years ahead of me, so I was really concerned, because I didn't know Carol, that I wasn't going to get the GA-ship, and so I went to her office and introduced 4:00myself and, like, brought all my writing center stuff from my bachelors and masters and all of the work that I had done and just told her that I was really interested in doing writing center, and so she hired me as one of those four and that's when I began. I want to say it was 2000, Fall of 2000, but I'm not one-hundred percent sure if it was 2000 or 2001. 

TD: So, you were an assistant director in the writing center?

CC: I was. I was, from that time she hired me, I continued to renew that GA-ship until I left in 2003. 

Tristan: Okay, so what responsibilities did you have as an assistant director?

CC: So, it kind of started off with attending the practicum and leading mentor groups for the masters students who were tutoring in their first year. I had a cohort that I met with once a week and we did little activities, and kind of 5:00talked about different writing center things, and then kind of team building as well. So, we would do that, we would do some tutoring, and then we would do kind of just some administrative things, like creating workshops and doing inventories of like the library, and creating handouts and those kinds of things, is what we started doing that first year. The second year, I continued on as a grad assistant, and the other three graduated, I believe, and then there were three of us. There was me, Kelly Grady, at the time. She's Kelly Prejean, now, and Chris Ervin. So, we were kind of the three GA's for a couple of years, 6:00together, so we kind of did a little bit more of that, but that's when writing center research started. So, we were kind of at the ground floor, we were at the first meeting of, kind of, the founding board, or the advisory board, for the writing center's research project. So, we did a lot of work for the WCRP, as well as being in the center, and kind of split our GA-ship between those two. Sorry, that was a really long answer to your question. 

TD: No, so, I saw that you did your dissertation on WCRP oral histories. 

CC: I did. So, when we got to um-- when we started WCRP and it was called, and I looked it up somewhere, okay so the original name of the WCRP, or the proposal for the WCRP, was the National Institute for Research on Writing Centers and so 7:00it was going to be the IRWC instead. But I guess after that meeting, and I have like-- the very first meeting was April 4th, 2001, and I have the proposal and the agenda for that meeting. It's kind of crazy, yeah. So, I have a list of everyone that was there and kind of what happened, but, so each one of the GA's kind of took on a different role and I can't remember what Kelly started doing at first. I think she was kind of doing the archive part and I started doing, kind of, research on out of print books to get for the repository, so I remember 8:00just researching, and you've got to remember-- so I came to Louisville in 1998 and that's when people started using Google. Like, Google was new. Yeah, I know it sounds crazy doesn't it? So, we had just started using the internet and all of those kinds of things, and it started getting better so we're doing all this research and I was trying to find out of print books. Um, that only lasted, you know, a short while, like I came up with a list and that was it. So, Chris Ervin started with the survey, which now we have a survey, right. And so I switched to the oral history project and that was kind of-- Carol just thought I was a good 9:00fit, personality wise, for that, so I sat in on those advisory board meetings. The board came a few different times that first year, and then Jeanie Simpson, who was on the advisory board, actually came and was kind of like a visiting advisor, or something, for a semester as well, to kind of help the WCRP get off the ground with Carol. As so, I started kind of researching oral history projects and Carol and Kelly Prejean and I all went to St. Louis to an Oral History Association training. So we learned, kind of, what was involved in doing oral histories and how to generate questions and what kind of background 10:00research you needed to do on each person before you interviewed them, and those kinds of things. So, I did that and so I stated-- I did the very first WCRP oral history with Jeanie, since then, and then started to do the founding members of the National Writing Centers Association because we wanted to get older and influential people in writing center work and so I started doing some of that and Kelly did some oral histories too. I know she did Jeanette Harris and Joyce Kincaid, who were also on the board. But I just started kind of researching people and traveling all around the place, you know, all around the country. I did Muriel Harris, Jay Jacobi, and Nancy McCracken, which was devastating 11:00because her audio never--

TD: Oh no

CC: Yeah, her audio was garbled and I have all the interview questions but it was really hard to get an interview with Nancy McCracken because she was the leader of it all. She started the National Writing Centers Association before it came IWCA and at that time she could not remain the president if she was not in a writing center and her institution, from what I remember, got rid of her writing center. So, she was just-- it kind of like, all of this work that she had done, you know, so I remember she was really, kind of, not super to even talk about it all, you know, but, yeah. 

TD: It sounds like a fascinating project.

CC: Yeah, I tried so hard to transcribe those tapes and I could not do it, it 12:00was horrible. I felt so bad, so anyways that's what happened. Also, the other GA's and Carol, and a lot of times Brad Hughes and Neal Lerner, we would go to different conferences. I know we went to IWCA in Savannah and we went to CCCC in Chicago that first year and we hosted, at IWCA we hosted a reception just introducing the WCRP to everyone and we presented at CCCC's about the WCRP and so we all kind of our parts and so I talked about the oral history part. 

TDn: That's fascinating, so--

CC: Oh, oh I didn't talk about my dissertation, right. So, it worked itself into a dissertation, yeah. So that's what that did. 

TD: So, how many other tutors were there when you were in the writing center? 


CC: Oh, how many tutors? Okay, so it was still, and I don't know if it is still like this, but is it first year master's students?

TD: Yes 

CC: Before you guys teach, right?

TD: Yes, for a year. 

CC: Okay, so it was the same thing, and I want to say it was anywhere from 8 to 14 was about the average, maybe a couple more, 15 or 16, but I don't think much more than that, if ever, but usually fewer than that, you know. I think between 8 and 15, maybe. 

TD: So, how were your guys trained to be writing tutors early on?

CC: Okay, so, well, so the GA's had different levels of training. Like I said, I had worked in a writing center, and been an undergraduate tutor, and been trained at University of Arkansas at Little Rock by Sally Crisp, and then was a 14:00grad assistant for my master's there, so I had gone through orientations and staff meetings every week and ongoing professional development in Arkansas before I came. But not all of the GA's had previous experience in writing centers. I think some did, I know Tim Casteallano did have quite a bit, and I think maybe Kelly Prejean worked in a writing center for her master's or undergraduate, I can't remember. Um, but I can't remember who did and who didn't, but we all sat in on the practicum with the master's students, so it was a three credit grad course and it happened simultaneously with tutoring. So, the 15:00master's students were going to class but also tutoring at the same time and I think that that's pretty common a lot of the time, you don't have the lecture, you have taking the class before you start, especially for you guys who are just doing it for a year, you know. You are doing it when you first come in, so you really can't have the training beforehand so you're doing it concurrently, but it was a lot of writing center history and theory and pedagogy. It was a nice mix of practical things, like let's look at sample scenarios and sample papers and, you know, writing across the curriculum and those kinds of things, and here's, you know, how to do a tutoring session from start to finish and those kinds of things, and what happens when this happens, you know, working with 16:00different, diverse populations and that, to theoretical background, history of writing center, writing center administration, you know. Of course, we had Stephen North in there and some Muriel Harris and Eric Hopson, Wiring the Writing Center was a newer book back then, so really talking about online tutoring, as well, so we kind of had that theory mixed in with the really practical. 

TD: Yeah, was that different from what you did in your undergrad?

CC: It was. In my undergrad, they don't have a three credit course, so, and they still don't to this day. They still do it the same way at UA Little Rock as they did, and it was a full day orientation to being a writing center tutor, and then we had weekly staff meetings that they would kind of continue to teach us. But 17:00the interesting thing about the UA Little Rock writing center is that it was a paid position, it was credit hours.

TD: Oh, okay

CC: So, you got like upper level electives, you know. If you were a writing major or an English major then you could get, you know, some credits towards your major but, regardless, you got upper level credits towards graduation. And so you could choose, kind of, one to three credits per semester of just those electives. We had like 40 tutors.

TD: Oh wow

CC: Yeah, so it was really interesting because they didn't have to pay, I mean, we essentially were paying tuition to work there, right. So, that's just kind of 18:00how it worked, So, but my point is that there was a lot of rollover. Students would continue to sign up for those credits from semester to semester and so those kind of veteran tutors would help the newer tutors and kind of model things and do mock tutorials and, you know, those kinds of things during staff meetings and really kind of mentor the newer tutors. 

TD: Okay, that's cool. Yeah that is different than-- 

CC: Yeah, a lot 

TD: Yeah, quite different. So, what was the structure of the program at the time that you were at UofL?

CC: So, writing center or just the whole program?

TD: Um, either one. You can do both if you'd like.

CC: Well, the structure basically-- I came in for my PhD, but there were 19:00obviously master's students in English and PhD students in Rhetoric and Composition and then undergraduate students in English, right. So, as a PhD student I took classes with other PhD students and there were a lot of courses that were only offered every other year, so I wasn't necessarily in my own cohort, just us, right. I remember I ended up taking the class that Deborah Journet taught, it was research and the composing process, I think is the name of that class. Is it still, I don't know if it's still around. Yeah, but it was all kind of really comp research and you were supposed to come up with your dissertation prospectus or proposal, you know, kind of an early version, and it was my first semester in the PhD program.

TD: Oh, wow

CC: Yeah, so, but I was in there with a lot of students who were second year, you know, too, so it was really kind of interesting. But, also there were 20:00master's students in some of my classes too, so, and then you know, we would have to take-- even though we were Rhet/Comp we were in an English department so there were a certain number of lit classes we had to take too, so I would be in, you know, Shakespeare with a lot of master's students, right. 

TD: That's how it is now, too.

CC: Oh, is it?

TD: Yeah

CC: Yeah, so you know you just took classes for two years, your third year you wrote your-- oh, then you took your comprehensive exams in your third year, and then got down to your prospectus and wrote that dissertation, right.

TD: Yeah, so did your dissertation change from when you planned it your first year?   

CC: I always knew it was going to be writing center, I always did, I just 21:00wasn't-- I hadn't-- I was really young when I came to UofL. I went through school really quickly, so I was 22 when I moved to Louisville and just turned 23 when I was taking 601.

TD: Oh wow

CC: It was 601, right? Yeah

TD: Yeah-- writing center is 604.

CC: Oh okay, yeah, so that teaches-- that you have to take to teach, right.

TD: Oh, yeah.

CC: Yeah, yeah yeah, um, because we took that in the Summer before our first semester in the program, so I had just turned 23. So I knew I wanted to do writing center, but I didn't, you know, I was so young I didn't know-- I couldn't wrap my brain around what I wanted to write a dissertation on. I didn't even know what that looked like, right, so I just kind of slowly worked my way toward what it ended up being. 

TD: How was the process of writing the dissertation?  

CC: Oh my goodness, well, I got-- I was ABD when I got my job, so I finished 22:00writing my dissertation long distance from Massachusetts.

TD: Oh wow

CC: It was-- I mean it was a struggle, yeah, I mean it was-- it was really difficult, especially starting a new job, and I started-- the job that I got out of the program, when I was still ABD, was at Worchester State College in Massachusetts and I was the Writing Center Director and the Writing Across the Curriculum Coordinator. So I had two kind of administrative jobs, plus I was teaching and I moved to Massachusetts, you know, and was trying to figure out how to do my dissertation at the same time, so, you know, ABD is hard but it 23:00happens, so its good. 

TD: Good. So, what do you remember about working in the writing center? Do you have any memories about working with writers or like with your cohort?

CC: I loved it, I loved it. So, I remember that the grad assistants that were the assistant directors were really, really active in going to conferences, and presenting, and helping to build the writing center. I think that was the coolest part because Carol came in, she hired us, and then we just helped to start making it, you know, visible on campus and providing more resources for students and, I remember, I don't know-- did you ever see the old center? 

TD: I remember seeing it when it was on the second floor.


CC: Uh-huh 

TD: But I never saw it when it was in Strickler

CC: Yeah, well I never worked there when it was in Strickler. So, but yeah when Carol came in was on the second floor of the library and they gave us-- it was like the hall you walked down and Ruth's office and Carol's office were right there and then the administrative assistant's desk was kind of in that hall and his name was Vernon Johnson, I remember him, then there was kind of a little staff room and then there was just a big room with tables and a couple couches and some computers. But they gave us moveable walls, so it was kind of like 'do what you can with this space and we'll see,' like, you might be able to expand. So, after I graduated, I came back for Watson Conference one year and I went up there and that's when I saw, like, this whole other suite had been-- like a conference room and all of these things had been added that weren't there before and I thought it was so cool. But that's what we did, we really kind of worked 25:00to help train the master's students every year to be tutors, we helped teach some classes in the practicum, and then we developed workshops, we developed handouts, and then we started WCRP stuff as well, so.

TD: So, what was most rewarding about your time in the writing center?

CC: Oh gosh, I just loved it. I loved to work with students, and I loved to-- like one on one for tutoring, obviously, helping students not be so afraid of writing, I think, was really awesome. Also, I really enjoyed helping every year 26:00the first-year master's students form an appreciation for that work, you know, and to, kind of, introduce them to this cool subculture that I think writing centers are, you know. I don't think there is any place quite like it on campus, so that's, kind of, what I really enjoyed, you know, and then I really liked, too, having the opportunity at Louisville to really get into the profession at a deeper level, you know. If the WCRP hadn't started there I wouldn't know a lot of the scholars in the field that I know -- Neal Lerner, and Brad Hughes, and Jeanie Simpson, and Muriel Harris, and, I'm trying to think who else. Joan 27:00Mullin was on that board, and there were others, I can look, I'm sure-- Michael Pemberton, and Eric Hopson, and Allison Holland, who was at Little Rock, and I knew her, so she was actually on that board too. 

TD: Yeah, we have some great PhD students who work with us in the writing center now, too.

CC: Oh good! That's so good.

TD: So, were there any challenges? I know you were coming when it was just started, so was that a challenge?

CC: Yeah, um, say that again. I'm sorry.

TD: I know you, like, came in when it was first starting, so what's that a challenge?

CC: Yeah, I think so. I think, you know, Carol-- we didn't know Carol, she was brand new faculty, so it wasn't like we had a relationship with her before. We all just were thrown in here in figuring all of this out, so, you know, it took awhile for us to all to get to know each other and know each other's personality and what our vision was. So, yeah, I think-- but I think that, too, it was cool 28:00to start from the beginning. I'll tell you, the biggest challenge that I can remember is when you automatically put all the first year master's students in the writing center as tutors, that doesn't mean that all of them, personality wise, belong in the writing center, you know what I mean? 

TD: Yeah

CC: So, we had, every once in a while, and this definitely wasn't a majority of the time or a majority of the students, but every once in a while we would have students who really didn't care about being there or didn't want to be there, or didn't really want to be supervised by PhD students, you know. And there were 29:00some master's students who were older than me, right, so me being their mentor, you know, some of them, every once in a while, just weren't really excited about that, you know, or didn't really want to be bossed around by a boss, like the director or associate director, you know, because it's kind of more of a work place than when you're just going in and teaching your classes every day and nobody's, like, watching you every day, right. So, I think some people wanted just to go into the classroom, they didn't want to be in the writing center, so that was probably the biggest challenge that I noticed. 

TD: So, is community an important part of the writing center?

CC: Oh, definitely. Don't you think?

TD: Yeah

CC: Yeah, Yeah

TD: Still is today.

CC: Yeah, I think it really shows to anyone who comes in there and, I mean, it can make or break you, right? 

TD: Yeah

CC: I think it speaks to your reputation as a writing center, um-huh.


TD: Yeah, I think it's very important today too. We have a good community.

CC: Yeah, Yeah, for sure. 

TD: So, how did you approach sessions when you worked with writers?

CC: So, you know, I kind of approached the way that I was taught back then, which is something that I think we all still talk about, kind of that global to local or higher order concern, lower order concern, but setting the agenda with the student really, kind of, trying to make them feel comfortable and I would ask a lot of questions, those kinds of things, and, you know, we always though grammar was that lower order concern, so even if they said they wanted to work on grammar we would try to focus on larger order, and, you know, now we know that grammar is a higher order concern for some people, right. But I just tried to, kind of, be friendly and just be open and non-judgmental, and, you know, you 31:00never know what's going to happen in a tutoring session, you just have to be prepared. You know, you have people who cry, and I always could handle students being upset pretty well, so that was helpful for me, personally. But, kind of just looking at each student as an individual and each paper, you know, each project as a new kind of thing, and then just really trying to teach them how to apply what we were talking about to future projects. 

TD: I can still see that carrying through today in what we do. Did you learn anything that you still use, like, teaching or in your work today?

CC: Oh my goodness, well I'm still a writing center director, I don't know if you knew that. Well, but now we changed-- our name is now Center for Writing and Communication

TD: Oh, okay

CC: So we do oral presentation tutoring and writing tutoring across campus, but 32:00a lot of those things I do use, you know. A lot of the readings that we did in the practicum at UofL, I used those for a long time, and there are still a couple that I have used, right, even though I've updated, I mean, from 2001 to now, right. So, I really kind of learned how, from Carol, how to mix really well the theory with the practical, you know the theory and the pedagogy, together into a three credit hour practicum because that was the first semester long tutor training course that I had ever participated in and I have taught three credit semester long tutor training ever since then, right, so she really helped 33:00me learn how to, kind of, combine those and, kind of, what that looked like and what to give tutors so that they could be as prepared as possible when they were approaching sessions. 

TD: Yeah, so what do you think the writing center did effectively, in terms of teaching at that time?

CC: I think that our one on one tutoring was good. I think that we did a good job training the tutors. I also think that we did quite a few workshops for different populations across campus and I think that really helped us to be visible across campus, form early on, and also show, kind of, you know, show our 34:00value, you know, so I think we really did that well. 

TD: Yeah, we still do some workshops today, too.

CC: Oh yeah? Good.

TD: Did you notice any types of issues that students would ask about when they come to the writing center?

CC: Oh my goodness, well, I mean, grammar is the biggest one, right? Yeah, they all want help with grammar and, you know, we had a lot of multilingual students who would come in with their dissertations or their thesis and want help with, kind of, those more localized concerns so we would have to do a lot of that. So, we would see a lot of that and I think really just kind of look it over, see if it's okay, grammar, those kinds of things, and then, you know, tutors get to learn a lot and have a lot of fun learning about all those other topics, too, so.

TD: It is, it's fun to read other people's work.


CC: Yeah, you get to learn a little bit about everything, right? 

TD: Did you work with any particular types of writing or all types?

CC: I just worked with all types, yeah. There was no really specific type that I worked with. I wasn't one of the GA's who taught, kind of, any of the engineering or science-based comp classes or writing classes. I did teach tech writing while I was there, and I taught business writing, I taught advanced academic writing, but I didn't-- there were certain sections that were, kind of, more science geared and I was never one of the people who really taught one of those, yeah. 

TD: Yeah, so when you were in the writing center, what did you and your fellow tutors do in your downtime? 

CC: Well, we were in the breakroom a lot of the time. There were 2 computers and 36:00a round table in there. So, we would sit in there quite a bit and, you know, the GA's were usually the ones on those two computers and we would try, you know, be doing, kind of, some of our other work, but then talking too, you know. So, we were getting to know each other better and talking about who knows what, you know, random stuff.

TD: Yeah

CC: And then we also would take breaks out on the front steps a lot, you know.

TD: Oh yeah, the front steps of the library?

CC: Yeah, yeah. So, we would, kind of, go out there and hang out for ten or fifteen minutes, or whatever, and then go back up and wait for our next, you know, take turns doing that, so. Yeah, just to kind of get out because we worked long shifts sometimes too. 


TD: Do you feel like having that back room helped you guys get closer?

CC: Oh, the staff room? Yeah, it was a little room at the time because it didn't have that big, the writing center didn't have that big, that larger room that was added on later, so it was just kind of right behind that front desk. There was just a little room, and so yeah, it was pretty close quarters so if you had several people working at the same time it could, yeah, you got to know each other, that's for sure. Or, you would go out and just sit at a computer, you know, in the larger room, so. 

TD: Yeah. So, I know that your work in the writing center influenced what you are doing now. 

CC: Yeah

TD: Do you feel like there are any similarities or is it a different environment? 


CC: I think that there are some similarities, for sure. I think in the work that we do, there's definitely a similarity, but my writing center has all undergraduate tutors.

TD: Okay

CC: Then our grad assistants are from different programs because we don't have a master's or a PhD in English or writing here. Oh, we have a master's program in English, I'm sorry, but we are split. We're not in the English department, we're the school of communication. 

TD: Oh, okay.

CC: Yeah, we're in an independent Department of Writing. So, Writing doesn't have a master's or a PhD program. We do have an MFA program in Creative Writing and an English Master's program, so we do sometimes get graduate assistants from those two programs but, for example, right now we have an English graduate 39:00assistant and then we have two Psychology, Mental Health Counseling, graduate assistants. So, it's not, so I think that the thing that's so different from UofL is that not having master's and PhD students who are in that discipline, you know, because all of our undergraduate tutors we try to diversify and we've got Psychology and Spanish and Linguistics majors, and Political Science majors and public administration majors, you know, so, professional writing majors, some communications majors, but we have a little bit of everyone. So, this is something, this is some work that they like to do but they don't necessarily want to go to all the conferences or present at all the conferences, right. So, it's a little bit more of, kind of, I want to come to work and do my job and, yeah, I'll talk about it and we'll, you know, I care about the work that we're 40:00doing, but I don't necessarily want to enter into the profession, right. Yeah, so that would be what I say is the biggest difference.

TD: Yeah, we do have a lot of conferences. Do you feel like having those during your time in the writing center was influential?

CC: Oh, definitely, definitely, yeah. I think it's great for any writing center staff to go to conferences, and especially tutors, because sometimes you just feel like you're in a bubble, right? You don't realize other people are doing this stuff all over the world, right. You're not alone, there are a lot of you there and so, just kind of learning what other centers do and, like, seeing what kinds of cool things that you can bring back and maybe implement in your own 41:00center, I think it great. And for me personally, you know, it just really helped me get into writing center scholarship a lot more, like I said, to meet a lot of people, and then it just kind of shaped my career, you know. I'm Arkansas representative for South Central Writing Center Association, so I'm doing, you know, some of that professional work, too. Yeah.

TD: Yeah. So, what are some of the memories you have about like the administrative staff, like the directors or other people you worked with in the writing center?

CC: Okay, lets see. Well, Carol is fantastic. So, she was my dissertation director and she was, obviously, the first director and she was just really funny. She could be really, kind of, deadpan serious but then she could say 42:00something and then just, kind of, you would know she was joking. So, it was really funny, but you weren't really sure at first, so you had to get to know her personality a lot. But she also was really, kind of, motherly, in some ways. She was totally not motherly in some ways, but then really motherly in some ways, so it was kind of neat to see that mix. She wanted to make sure you were okay, right, that you were eating and sleeping and getting through your classes and all of that kind of stuff, but she wanted to make sure you were doing your job, right, so it was kind of that blend. And then Ruth Miller was the associate director and she was just really nice, you know. I think that she was worried at first because she was the director of that center in Strickler for a long time 43:00and so she had a lot of experience, you know, kind of running her own center, and so when that center, kind of, went away and this one came I think that, you know, as anyone would be, you want to make sure that you're being valued for your knowledge and what you do and we really did value her for all of that experience that she had. And she always made sure there was chocolate, so that was good. And then, I just remember working with Chris Ervin and Kelly Prejean the most and we went to a bunch of conferences together and we did a lot of work together and we had a really good time doing that, you know, so. 

TD: Yeah

CC: Yeah

TD: Do you still talk to anyone from your previous writing center time?

CC: Yeah, I see Chris every once in a while. I haven't talked to Kelly in a long 44:00time, but she was doing writing center work for a while at Marshall University. I think she may have moved into a different position now. And then Chris is doing some IWCA stuff, too, and I think he's in Oregon now, but he's done some writing center stuff off and on, as well, so. 

TD: Cool

CC: Yeah, I see, I usually just see him at conferences, so. 

TD: So, I know that you came, when you started you were in like a transition time, so were there any major changes that you noticed. 

CC: Oh, well just that the writing center happened, you know, from me coming and them saying there's no writing center to, all of a sudden, that happening and so there was just another opportunity, you know, there were grad assistant opportunities for us in teaching for sure, you know, first-year writing has several GAs that were, kind of, assistant directors and the Writing Across the 45:00Curriculum program did, and there were a couple of other, Henry James, I think, had a GA ship, but that was, kind of, the light for me, right, like thank goodness this happened because this is what I want to do, so that was just really, probably the biggest. 

TD: Yeah

CC: Yeah. I got another office besides that basement, 4H. Is it 4H? Yeah, I was down there for a long time.

TD: So, what kind of technology was available when you worked in the writing center?

CC: We had computers with internet, and we did some email sessions. Like I said, 46:00Google had really just, kind of, become widely used, or starting to become widely used, in 98 so it was just a few years after that. So, we had Google and, you know, we were Googling away, right. So, just kind of email, Google, we had our UofL email addresses, and then, I mean, I was still, we were not doing this for oral histories. I was flying around with a tape recorder and microphone and then Carol had, over in the Humanities building in the English department, in her office over there, she had a transcription machine. Like, I literally had to, it had a pedal, and I would have to start and stop and rewind and type. So, we had that, yeah, and that's, kind of, where we were at that point. Yeah.

TD: Yeah, so how was, I know now we use like a client form online and we get to 47:00see their main concerns. Before that, did they just walk in and you found out then?

CC: So, we got AccuTrack, yeah, AccuTrack is what we started off with when the writing center started and so it was, kind of, an online, you know, it was kind of like WC Online or something like that,

TD: Okay

CC: Only not nearly as user friendly and we did do some paper things too, but luckily we had Vernon Johnson, who sat at the front desk and so people would sign in and there would be different things. I don't remember if we had appointments or if it was just a walk-in. I want to say it was just a walk-in because there were a lot of those turn is it kind of things happening, right, 48:00and Vernon would have to keep up with whose turn it was to tutor, but we could keep some records through AccuTrack and I remember you had to, like, enter in your student PIN or whatever to, like, show that you were in there. So, we could keep track of the number of people who came in, but some stuff was still on paper.

TD: Yeah, that's quite different from now.

CC: Yeah, oh yeah.

TD: So, I know you said you did a lot of, like, getting the word out there about the writing center. Did you do any workshops yourself or, like, presentations?    

CC: Oh yeah, I did several. For some reason, kind of, things to keep you going when your writing gets stuck comes to my mind. Like, writer's block. I remember doing one like that. I think I did some on peer response. Sometimes writing 49:00center tutors would do some, we had comp orientation every year and so it would start off with the composition director, who was Brian Huot at the time, and the assistant directors, who were GAs in the PhD program, kind of talking to us, maybe we'd have a couple guest speakers, and then we would break out and you could go to, like, little mini sessions or like little mini workshops. So, I did a couple of writing center ones at comp orientation and I think one was peer response. Let me look, I think I might have some. Organization and revision, oh, personal statements, that's in there too. So, yeah.  


TD: Oh, nice. We still use handouts now, so what kinds did you all make?

CC: We, kind of, just made tips over grammar

TD: Yeah

CC: Yeah, those kinds of things.

TD: Yeah, I think we still use those 

CC: Different types of paper, 

TD: Yeah, we still use those too.

CC: Writing in different disciplines.

TD: Did you find them pretty useful?

CC: Yeah, because at that time you didn't really have online tip sheets a bunch, like we had, I want to say we had a webpage, maybe, off of the English website, or something, but we didn't have like PDF or online tip sheets, right, so we were copying and we had paper copies and that's what we would have to, kind of, give to students who came in or, yeah, work with those.


TD: We still do a lot of that now. We have a wall with them on there. 

CC: Oh, yeah. Good, good. I remember that wall. 

TD: Did you have any photos or other documents that you would like to share?

CC: I am sure I could make some copies of some stuff to give you. I think that I have more WCRP stuff than I have writing center stuff. But, like I have Carol Mattingly's syllabus from Writing Center Theory and Practice, Fall 2001. I have, let's see, and I think I have some mentor stuff, so a few things, like what we were supposed to do in our mentor groups when we first got in those, so.  

TD: Yeah

CC: Yeah, I can probably scan or do something with those.


TD: Yeah, that would be great. 

CC: Yeah, for sure. And then WCRP, yeah. I've got quite a few things for that, so. 

TD: Do you have any favorite WCRP memories?

CC: I really enjoyed the reception that we did at the Savannah College of Art and Design when IWCA was there to, kind of, introduce the WCRP. Carol wanted it to be something different, so she did Champagne and chocolates, but I think it was Champagne and chocolates, but I think, for some reason, it wasn't chocolate, it was pralines. We had, like, pralines and Champagne, or something, maybe there was chocolate too. So it was, kind of, a lot of fun because it's not like a normal reception that you go to, so it was good and, you know, the WCRP was started with a grant, so we had a lot of money right there at the start up to, 53:00kind of, do things and get situated, so we kind of had some, got to do some things that we normally wouldn't of, you know, normally don't get to do just with the university budget and stuff, so yeah, it was good. 

TD: That's fun

CC: Yeah 

TD: So, is there anything else that you want to share about or anything that I haven't asked you?

CC: Um, I think we've pretty much covered it. I just think that my work in the UofL Writing Center really stepped up my experience to be able to continue to do this type of work, still have those connections and I'm happy to see, you know, 54:00it's kind of neat because you still care about that writing center, even if you're, you know, when you're someplace else. Bronwyn's still the director, right?

TD: Yes

CC: Yeah, so I'm so happy. He was on my dissertation committee and he came, I think he came a couple of years after I was there, so I got to know him, and I used to babysit his kids. 

TD: Oh, wow   

CC: Yeah, yeah. So, I'm so happy, I know him and I'm so glad it's somebody that I know who's directing it, right. If it's not Carol then I want it to be somebody that I like in there, so I'm so happy that it's him, and I just, you know, I think it just really prepared me for continuing to do this work, you know, so. I think that's it

TD: Yeah, it's been great hearing your story.

CC: Oh good. Thank you so much for calling me. Sorry it took a little bit for us to get connected, but. 

TD: Oh, no problem at all. But it's been nice hearing about everything. It's cool to hear about stories from the very beginning. 


CC: Yeah, who else have you gotten to interview?

TD: I have a partner, so I'm going to try to sit in on her interview, but this is my first one.

CC: Oh yeah, who all, do you have a list of people you're planning?

TD: We've divided it up, so everyone is doing one person.

CC: Oh, good, good.

TD: Yeah

CC: Well, hopefully you can interview some of those people that I talked about, so that will be good. 

TD: Yeah, it seems like there are a lot of people. 

CC: Yeah, yeah. For sure. Alright, well awesome. Thank you so much. 

TD: I'll sed you the form here soon and you can just send it back whenever.

CC: Okay, Thank you.

TD: Thank you so much.

CC: Alright, have a good day.

TD: You too.