Snow Write and the Seven Tips for Successful Writing Center Sessions: Part Two

By Logan Brown, Shyene Joubert, Kylie Lohmeyer, Christina Roberts, Lindsey Howell, Iris Saltus, and Izzy Comin

Step Three: Sleeping In and Saving Face in the Wake of Late Appointments

A blaring whistle startled Sleepy, who was in the midst of an afternoon nap. Sounds like Sneezy is steaming water for his neti pot again, he thought.

The dwarf rubbed his eyes, sat up, and dragged his legs over the bedside. It was progress: he was nearly ready to roll out of bed. Sleepy’s gaze met the face of his alarm clock, which read “4:31p.m.” He could feel that he was forgetting something.

Oh no, Sleepy thought. My writing consultation with Snow Write was supposed to start a minute ago! I can’t miss this session or my grade will be toast!

Through the grapevine, Sleepy had heard whisperings of rejection, suspension, and, in some cases, termination, due to missed Writing Center appointments. My academic standing can’t perish this early in the semester, the dwarf thought between fits of panic. Sleepy couldn’t bear the idea of having to face the Writing Center staff when he checked in late for his appointment. With no time to waste, he hurtled out of bed and hurried to the heart of campus, where the Writing Center was located.

The only problem with Sleepy’s version of “hurrying” was that he only had one speed: slow as molasses. Despite his lethargic state, he had to think of something quick to make up for the lost time. A light bulb began to flicker within the depths of his gray matter.

“I should call the Writing Center to let them know I’m on my way,” Sleepy recited to himself. “They’ll understand, right?”

The dwarf began to fumble through his pockets until he found his phone. After dialing the Writing Center’s number, he paused. Is it even worth it to call? Lost in distraction, Sleepy hadn’t realized he accidentally pressed the call key. Oh no, he gasped.

“University Writing Center, this is Prince, how may we help you?”

On the other end of the line, Prince’s question was met with a yawn. After a few seconds, Sleepy responded, “Hi Prince. I’m so sorry, but I’m running late to my consultation. It started at 4:30p.m., but I’m heading to the Writing Center now. Is it too late for me to come?”

“Not at all. As long as you get here within the first 15 minutes of the start of your consultation, you’re good. It looks like you have six minutes left until the end of that 15-minute mark. Is that enough time for you to get here?”

“That’s plenty of time! Thank you so much. I’ll see you guys in a few minutes!” After hanging up the phone, Sleepy paused—again. He knew that six minutes would be cutting it close. The dwarf sprinted across campus.

Sleepy’s appointment was just about to be marked missed as he approached the front desk of the Writing Center. He knew he needed to be there within 15 minutes of the start of his hour-long appointment, or his profile would be disconnected from the scheduling system—he arrived at the 14-minute mark.

A flood of anxieties began to infiltrate Sleepy’s mind. Oh heck. I hope I made an hour appointment. I made an hour appointment, right? I was half asleep when I scheduled this writing consultation. Maybe I…a yawn interrupted his thoughts…shouldn’t have stayed up watching The Hobbit. I can’t even find the confirmation email!

In the midst of his panic, Sleepy noticed that a student was approaching the Writing Center ahead of him. He knew there was no time to waste. With surprising force, he shoved passed the student and skidded to a halt right at the front desk.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing?”

The voice of the disgruntled student sounded vaguely familiar. Sleepy asked, “Grumpy, is that you?”

“Of course it is. Clearly, you’re in a rush. Don’t mind me.”

“I’m sorry,” the fatigued dwarf responded. “It’s been one heck of an afternoon.” Sleepy redirected his attention to the Prince, who had already notified Snow White that he had arrived.

The princess met Sleepy in the Writing Lab, and without letting any more time escape from their consultation, the two headed off to an office to get started.

Step Four: Getting Over the Grumpiness of Required Appointments

Even though Doc had a lot of decent things to say about Snow Write and the University Writing Center, Grumpy wasn’t interested in going. He knew he was an okay writer, mostly receiving Bs (and the occasional C) on his papers, but he had no intention of seeking help for his writing.

That was until Grumpy landed in a Core Humanities class that required an in-person consultation at the Writing Center. This is such a waste of my time, he thought. I don’t want help. Grumpy was perfectly content with his grades, and he would have rather spent his time digging into the earth in search of rare gems.

Regardless, Grumpy had a scholarship to maintain, and this Writing Center appointment was a whopping 20% of his overall Core Humanities grade. He knew he couldn’t afford to get below a B in the class, so he begrudgingly showed up for his appointment with Snow Write.

Irritated by his unfortunate encounter with Sleepy, Grumpy took a deep, angry sigh and checked in at the front desk. He worked himself into a mood and certainly wasn’t jumping for joy when he heard his name sung in a melody that cut through the bustle of the Writing Lab.

Snow Write waltzed over to greet Grumpy with a smile. Grumpy wasn’t having any of it.

“Hi! What brings you to the Writing Center today?” Snow Write took a seat next to the dwarf.

“I have to be here,” Grumpy replied shortly.

“Oh. What class is forcing you to be here?”

“Core Humanities.”

“Well,” responded Snow Write, “I’ll try to make this as painless as possible for you. How’s that sound?”

Grumpy was incredulous. A Writing Center appointment…painless? Bah!

“Do you have a paper to look at?” Snow Write prodded.

“Nope.”

“What about a prompt?”

“I’m sure it’s somewhere,” Grumpy retorted, his gaze secured to the floor beneath them.

“Could we pull it up on the Magic Mirror of Courses?”

“I guess.” Grumpy fiddled with the Magic Computer Monitor, pulling up the script that contained his assignment description. “I’m supposed to write about mortality in Gilgamesh.”

“Great! What can you tell me about Gilgamesh?” Snow Write was a little too excited for Grumpy’s comfort.

“I dunno. I didn’t read it.” Grumpy’s gaze remained directed at the floor.

“Do you have the book?”

“No.”

“That’s okay. We can still talk about the idea of morality and stuff. How’s that sound?”

“Sure, whatever.”

Grumpy wanted to stay in his mood, huffing and puffing about how terrible the class was and how he didn’t want to be at the Writing Center. However—to his surprise—Grumpy realized he actually had plenty to say about morality and what kinds of actions would be moral versus immoral within particular contexts. He saw that the Writing Center wasn’t just for people who needed to edit papers, it was also for people who needed to brainstorm or talk through ideas.

Snow Write was able to help Grumpy sketch a decent outline for his paper before they wrapped up their consultation. As the princess walked the dwarf to the front desk to schedule a follow-up consultation, he noticed his twin brother, Happy, fidgeting in his seat in the waiting area.

The two dwarves locked eyes, but without missing a beat, Grumpy redirected his gaze and continued to walk right passed his brother toward the exit.

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