Writing Center, The Musical

Jollina Simpson, Nevada State College
Hugo Virrueta, Nevada State College

Abstract

Through the genre of musical theatre, Writing Center, The Musical (WCTM) examines how peer-to-peer writing centers can help bridge the divide for marginalized students. It also explores the tension that manifests when new writing center theory is not supported by an institution. When writing centers do not get buy-in from the institution, for this type of work, it can create backlash towards the writing center and student writers.

Keywords: Marginalized students; Peer tutoring; writing center; musicals; tutors; Code-meshing; AAVE; Multi-modal; multi-lingual; creative works; undergraduate writers; Spanish language writing

Introduction

There has been a movement in undergraduate writing center work toward peer-to-peer writing support that promotes process and voice, rather than being editors and gatekeepers for Standard Academic English (SAE) (Neisha-Anne S. Green, 2016). In WCTM each writing center tutor will work and dance with student writers, creating silly, awkward, difficult, and complex interactions for the stage that embody the everyday work of a Writing Center. Writing Centers are dynamic lyrical spaces. Music adds an additional layer of emotional richness to the discourse, allowing the audience to experience the cathartic impact of our students’ emotional journey. WCTM shows how peer-to-peer writing centers can bridge the divide for marginalized students; it also shows the tension that manifests when writing center work is not supported by an institution (Elizabeth Bouqet, 2002). When writing centers do not get buy-in from the institution, it can create unintended consequences for the writing center, tutors, and student writers (Bouqet, 2002). This tension can run the risk of alienating marginalized students and forcing them out of the academic discourse (Romero Garcia, 2017; Green, 2016; Asao Inoue, 2019).

Engagement though writing center work can provide marginalized students with a sense of belonging, in academia (Green, 2016; Young et. al, 2014). A central theme in modern peer-to-peer writing center pedagogy is that each student must serve as the ‘expert’ in their own writing process and language (Canagarajah, 2011; Young et. al, 2014). However, few marginalized students, entering academic spaces, feel capable of claiming their role as an “expert” writer (Bouquet, 2002). Student writers and tutors, in peer support roles, are the ones who are impacted most when academic stakeholders do not understand current writing center pedagogy. Without support from academic stakeholders, students and faculty will lose faith in the writing center. When that support is gone, there is a risk that both students and writing centers will fail (Bouquet, 2002; Garcia, 2017; Green, 2016).

How to engage while reading a musical!

If you have never read a Musical Theatre script this may feel a bit strange. Unlike movie manuscripts or novels, play manuscripts have little or no emotional descriptors or signposting for the characters. It is avoided except in very specific circumstances. The characters’ emotional arcs are for the actor to discover and bring to life. You, dear journal reader, can allow your imagination to fill this world.

We will not, however, leave you without a guide. Like all live performances, there were months of work that preceded the moment the actors hit the stage for the first rehearsal. Before the Coronavirus pandemic shut down the world (and our ability to mount a full production) we had created a playbill and orchestrations; each worked on by many dedicated artists. You can explore our playbill, listen to the orchestrations, and see photos of our various rehearsals and read-throughs.

A note about structure. Character names are in all caps but when you see dialog in ALL CAPS that is meant to be sung. WCTM has one exception, all caps in the song “Jar of Fireflies” is meant to be spoken and signed simultaneously with American Sign Language.

So, are you comfortable in your seat? Did you get your program? The lights are dimming…

Ladies and Gentlemen, please silence all cell phones and unwrap any candy. All photos and video recordings are strictly prohibited.

We hope you enjoy the show.

Writing Center, The Musical

Cast: In order of appearance:

Dr. WAC: The Director of the Writing Center. She is 35-40 years old. She is a formidable presence, nurturing, and firm.

Hui: A peer tutor. He is Chinese American around 21 years old. He is calming and has a chill vibe.

Nayeli: A peer tutor. She is a woman of color around 19 years old. She is happy, fun, high energy and a “Teacher’s pet”.

Tamar: A peer tutor. She is a woman of color approximately 19 years old. She is stoic, give no Fs, gen Z. She is the newest tutor on the team.

Davu: A peer tutor. He is an Afro-Cuban, bilingual Spanish/English speaker. A guys’ guy, 20-ish, friendly, and patient.

Jason: A student writer. He is a non-conforming College Student around 18 years old. He is easy going and excitable but can come off as stupid when he is not.

Glori: A student writer. She is a non-traditional Black Female Psychology major, over the age of 35. As a mother of two, she feels a little lost in college and is struggling to find her voice.

Luis: A student writer. He is a Mexican American Male College Student. He is a bilingual Spanish/English student writer looking to fit in to academia but never feel like he belongs.

Lynn: A student writer. She is a Nursing Major, put together, with no non-sense air about 25 years old. ASL is her first language.

 

Set:

Three tables with two chairs each are arranged on stage as separate workstations. Two overstuffed armchairs with a low table is the forth work station. There is a standing desk off to one side; this is Dr. WAC’s workstation. Upstage there is a bookshelf, table with a coffee maker, and water cooler. There is a large, potted plant near the bookshelf.

ACT 1

SCENE 1

DUE AT MIDNIGHT

(a cappella)

DR. WAC:
IT’S THE FRIDAY BEFORE SPRING BREAK
AND THEY’RE LINED UP OUTSIDE THE DOOR.
WRITING CENTER HOURS ARE 10 TO 4
THEY DIDN’T COME ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY WAS QUIET.
BUT REALITY SET IN AND THURSDAY WE SAW IT.

HUI:
NO OPENING STATEMTENT, THESEIS, OR CONCLUSION.

NAYELI:
THE INTROS WERE RUSHED AND THE ARGUMENTS —FLUID

TAMAR:
WITH SPRING BREAK ARRIVING AND GRADUATION CALLING

(Music)

ALL:
WE NEED TO GET READY FOR OUR
LAST MINUTE PROCRASTINATION,
LAST MINUTE PERSONAL STATEMENTS,
LAST MINUTE 12 PAGE VOMITATION.
DUE AT MIDNIGHT.

TAMAR:
OMG are we out of coffee….this can’t be happening.

DAVU:
No. There’s more in the cabinet.

TAMAR:
I sure hope so.

NAYELI:
Good morning Dr. WAC!

DR. WAC:
Good morning, Nayeli. Are you looking forward to spring break?

NAYELI:
Yes, it will give me time to focus on my research.

DR. WAC:
Ah…that sounds nice.

HUI:
Hay! I finished my last midterm and nothing says spring break like-

TAMAR: (flat)
A 12 Page thesis driven paper analyzing the impact of post-modern pedagogy on modern educational Praxis.

ALL:
DUE AT MIDNIGHT

NAYELI:
I think they should stagger their assignments. When I’m a department chair, tenured track, of course. I will have live grading, A-K on Monday and L-Z on Wednesday. With every Friday off to enjoy with my family!

TAMAR:
Great….Live grading. So I can cry in front of my professors instead of alone in my room.

NAYELI:
Dr. WAC, I’m going to open the doors. Ok? (to tutors) Let’s put on those smiling face.

TAMAR:
I’ll smile at 12:01 a.m. And Not

ALL:
BEFORE THE LAST MINUTE PROCRASTINATION,
LAST MINUTE PERSONAL STATEMENTS,
LAST MINUTE-

NAYELI:
(opens the door – Glori and Jason walk in. Jason says hi to Nayeli and she motions for him to takes a seat, which he does in one of the armchairs. Glori stops in the doorway.)

HUI:
Hey hi. Welcome to the writing center.

GLORI:
Hi.

HUI:
Hi, how can I help you?

GLORI:
My professor told me to come here; I need someone to look over my paper.

HUI:
Ok, great. Take a seat and I’ll be right with you.

NAYELI:
(sitting next to Jason)
Hi, my name is Nayeli what’s your name?

JASON:
I’m Jason.

NAYELI:
Nice to meet you Jason. What are you working on today?

JASON:
Well, I have to write this paper for English and I’m having a hard time getting started.

NAYELI:
Ok no problem, do you have a rubric…or did your teacher give you any guidelines?

JASON:
Yeah, I have that – (takes out a sheaf of paper and lets it drop – it is 10 pages long)

NAYELI:
Okay…..Which English class is this for?

JASON:
English 101

NAYELI:
And when is this paper due?

JASON:
Tonight at midnight –

TAMAR:
Thank God I found the coffee. Wait…Is the water cooler empty!? Son of a-

HUI:
Hi, I’m Hui.

GLORI:
Hi. Glori.

HUI:
How are you?

GLORI:
I’m fine.

HUI:
So. What are we doing today?

GLORI:
My Psych paper, and I am really struggling – I can’t seem to get a good grade from this professor. So I am hoping you can help me see what I am missing. (Hands him the paper).

HUI:
Alright, when is it due?

GLORI:
At Midnight. Look I don’t know what she wants from me. Every paper I write she gives me C’s. The last one she accused me of Plagiarizing because I used the wrong citation, and she gave me a 0, I had to go in and fight to get the ‘C’. I’m not a C student, I never got C’s before…

HUI:
That sounds super stressful. Did she give you any feedback? A place to start your revisions?

GLORI:
Every paper I write comes back all marked up. ‘FRAGMENT’, ‘COMMA, COMMA, COMMA”. On this paper – she said she didn’t know how I made it this far without knowing how to ‘properly’ use commas. If I don’t pass this class, I can’t take anymore classes and I won’t graduate on time….

HUI:
Ok. Let’s look at some of the passages and see if we can see any common patterns.

TAMAR:
EVERY PAPER CONVINCING,
EVERY PAPER ENGAGING.
TAKE THEM ON A JOURNEY, TELL ‘EM A STORY
AND MAKE SURE IT’S PROPERLY CITED.

(Lynn walks in)

ALL:
DUE AT MIDNIGHT.

(She waits. Tamar who is working on her own paper, looks up after a beat.)

TAMAR:
Hey. Welcome to the writing Center, are you here for a session?

LYNN:
Yes.

TAMAR:
Ok, have a seat and I’ll be right with you.

LYNN:
I just need to make sure I get that paper so my teacher knows I came here.

TAMAR:
Yea ok, no problem. (Beat.) You can take any open seat.

LYNN:
I have another class in and hour.

TAMAR:
Ok. (Lynn goes and sits down.)

ALL:
DUE AT MIDNIGHT.

NAYELI:
So we can start to with a brain storming session to help generate ideas.

JASON:
Yeah! Yeah, that sounds good.

NAYELI:
Ok, great. So this is (looking at rubric) ‘a Compare and Contrast paper that – reflects on the modern day poetry movement and the Beat Poetry Movement of the 1960’s.”

JASON:
Yea.

NAYELI:
Do you have a strong connection to one of these two poetry styles?

JASON:
Not really.

NAYELI:
Okay…. Have you talked about them in class?

JASON:
I don’t really go to class.

NAYELI:
Ok. Do you have the textbook?

ALL:
GET READY FOR OUR LAST-MINUTE PROCRASTINATION.
LAST MINUTE PERSONAL STATEMENTS.
LAST MINUTE 12 PAGE VOMITATION.
DUE AT MIDNIGHT

TAMAR: (Sitting next to Lynn)
I’m Tamar.

LYNN:
Lynn. Hi.

TAMAR:
Hi Lynn. What are you working on today?

LYNN:
I just need help with my APA in-text citations and a little grammar.

TAMAR:
Ok. I’ll get the style guide.

LYNN:
I have my own.

TAMAR:
Ok. Great. When is this assignment due?

LYNN:
It is due at midnight on Sunday, but I want to turn it in when I’m done here. And I have another class in an hour.

TAMAR:
Right.

LYNN:
Nursing Professors are really particular about APA and I just want to make sure it is correct.

TAMAR:
Ok. So we have a read aloud policy. If you hear anything grammatically that stands out, please feel free to stop me –

LYNN:
I don’t need you to read it to me. I just want you to check the citations and edit for grammar mistakes.

TAMAR:
Right, well we do have to go through it together. And reading out loud can help us see if anything stands out, paying special attention to APA and grammar, sound ok?

LYNN:
Ok.

TAMAR:
Okay. Would you like to read aloud, or would you like me to?

DR. WAC:
EVERY PAPER CONVINCING.
EVERY PAPER ENGAGING.
TAKE THEM ON A JOURNEY
TELL ‘EM A STORY….
MAKE SURE ITS PROPERLY CITED

(Luis enters, talking on the phone)

Voice Over:
Tu profesor piensa que eres Incompetente

LUIS:
Sabes que, necesito una c en este proyecto. Después, nunca mas debo que tomar sus otras clases.

Voice Over:
¿En serio?, el ensaña dos clases de alto nivel, ¡Dos Clases MAS! Vas a tenner que tomar lo de nuevo. Deberías haber tomado mi consejo de haber tomado Ingles con Dr. Bouqut. Ella es estricta, pero.. al menos parece que le importa sus estudiantes. No como….. buenos pues, ya sabes.

LUIS:
Mira, debo que entrar aquí a ver si me pueden ayudar con mi ensayo. Ay nos vemos.

Voice Over:
Bueno, suerte pues. Bye

ALL:
DUE AT MIDNIGHT

(Luis’s intake happens in silence underneath the next passage.)

HUI:
I can hear your voice in your writing, and that is really nice for me as a reader. Your perspective is really clear. Some of your transitions are unclear and you can make it easier to read by finessing some of your rhetorical moves.

GLORI:
I don’t know what that means.

HUI:
I see how you are setting up the narrative of your experience. As a reader, I see a lot of different ideas, and it was hard for me to follow at times.

GLORI:
So, it’s confusing?

HUI:
Sometimes. I think you are making a lot of good arguments, but it is really a lot packed into each paragraph. Here let’s look at this passage together.

WRITERS:
EVERY PAPER CONVINCING,
EVERY PAPER ENGAGING.
TAKE THEM ON A JOURNEY
TELL THEM A STORY PROPERLY CITED
TUTORS:
LAST MINUTE PROCRASTINATION,
LAST MINUTE PERSONAL STATEMENTS,
LAST MINUTE 12-PAGE VOMITATION.

DAVU:
Hey, man. Welcome to the writing center. I’m Davu.

LUIS:
Hey.

DAVU:
What are you working on today?

LUIS:
I have a paper due and I’m missing some, grammar things, I think.

DAVU:
Ok. When is it due?

LUIS:
It was due yesterday, but I asked for more time to get it right. I haven’t been doing well on them. He gave me till the end of the day.

DAVU:
Do you have a prompt?

LUIS:
We are writing a reflection on our feelings about school before college.

DAVU:
Ok. Is there a rubric or outline you have to follow?

LUIS:
No. I just keep getting marked off on grammar and other things like that. I didn’t really know what to do to make it better.

DAVU:
Ok, let’s see what you got.

JASON:(Standing up, excited)
Yeah! Ok! I got it! I’m going to use The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to talk about poetry.

NAYELI:
I love that book! How are you going to tie it to poetry?

JASON:
See, my dad used to play the audiobook all the time so I know that book backward and forwards! There’s gotta be something there I can use.

NAYELI:
What about this assignment made that come to mind?

JASON:
Just how ridiculous the human guy – Arthur – is and how full of himself he is! That is what I think these old poetry teachers think about themselves. And every time a new style comes along they want to stand in their house to stop the bulldozers from tearing it down, but the new style isn’t the bulldozer.

NAYELI:
What is the bulldozer?

JASON:
It doesn’t matter.

NAYELI:
Why, doesn’t it matter?

JASON:
Because there is this big ass ship coming to blow up earth. And as long as there are words, poetry will be created and remade. For better or worse. And what is left in books is just what one guy, one editor, one old ass teacher – thought was cool. But the really cool, really crazy good art – is always something no one is expecting. And it blows us all away.

NAYELI:
You should write that down.

DR. WAC:
GET READY

TUTORS:
LAST MINUTE PROCRASTINATION,

WRITERS:
LAST MINUTE PERSONAL STATEMENTS,

ALL:
LAST MINUTE 12 PAGE CONVERSATIONS
DUE AT MIDNIGHT.

SCENE.

 

SCENE 2

NOTE, REACT, ASK

TAMAR:
This isn’t so much of a grammar or APA thing, but I’m really confused by this whole last section.

LYNN:
The whole section?

DR. WAC:
(Rap of a cane on Hardwood. Everyone Freezes.
All Tutors stand and strike Ballet’s first position. Tamar is a little slower than the others. In each position each tutor should move through 3 plies – shallow, medium, and deep.)
Welcome to todays peer tutor in-service. We will be reviewing NOTE. REACT. ASK. Begin.

DR. WAC (continued):
1st position. Note. Hui? “NOTE”

HUI:
(is in Ballet’s 1st position, but slouchy)
Note is to notice a pattern in the writer’s composition.

DR. WAC:
Chin up. Back Straight. Be specific, focus your gaze – What types of Patterns? Davu?

DAVU:
(Feet are in first but uses his hands to talk)
Any pattern that makes the passage or intent unclear for a reader?

DR. WAC:
What are you doing with your hands? Where should they be?

DAVU:
(Whose hands were not in first, adjusts)
Down. Soft and open.

DR. WAC:
That is right. Hands are guided by the strong arm of the writer not the will of the tutor. Very good Nayeli.

NAYELI:
Thank you, Professor.

DR. WAC:
(Rap the cane.)
Second Position. Tamar?

TAMAR: yeah…

DR. WAC:
Not quite awake this morning. Second position?

TAMAR:
Second is ugh… React?

DR. WAC:
Continue.

TAMAR:
React: Connect what you’ve ‘noticed’ to how it affects you as a reader. (moves to feet to second but arms to demi second, hands floppy) Like, man. I don’t ..uhh…understand what you are trying to saying. At. All.

DR. WAC:
React is OPEN and strong. With soft hands. Letting them see what you see what you’ve noticed, open and clear. Again 1st position. (Cane.)

ALL:
Note.

DR. WAC:
Second. (Cane.)

ALL:
React.

DR. WAC:
Tamar? React.

TAMAR: (Smoother.)
As a reader, I was confused when I didn’t see a citation after this quote.

LYNN:
Oh, yes I can fix that.

DR. WAC:
Very good. Good adjustment. (Cane) And Third.

ALL:
(Move to 3rd position) ASK.

DR. WAC:
Hui. Ask?

HUI:
Ask a question. Get the writer to engage with their work, this allows them to find solutions, and build a writing practice.

DR. WAC:
Good Hui. Nayeli. Run the sequence connect to the work of the writer.

NAYELI:
(Moves into first and with each move,
her gaze follows her hands rather than looking forward)

NAYELI (continued):
Note: I noticed that this in this comparative writing assignment
and you plan to use a large amount of quoted text.

NAYELI (continued):
React: As a reader, I wonder what your take is on the prompt.

(Nayeli moves to Third position)

NAYELI (continued):
Ask: How will you provide your own perspective for your audience?

DR. WAC:
Please remember your focus is on the writer, not your own hands. Connect with the writers’ work, not with your rhetorical choices. Davu! First.

DAVU:
(Davu moves to First position)
I noticed you cited Google as your source for this quote.

(Davu moves to Second position)

DAVU (continued):
I am going to need to grab the style guide so we can figure out how to properly cite this source.
(Beat.)

DR. WAC:
And Third?

DAVU:
Have you ever used an APA guide before? No?

(moves through 3rd)

DAVU (continued):
I’ll show you how to look things up.

(Move to a Pirouette, finishes, returns to 1st)

DR. WAC:
Very nice Davu, incorporating scaffolding for a bit of color and context! I like it. Again.

(All tutors go through the motions of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd as if they are on the “bar”, while saying “note, react, ask” softly. Dr. WAC walks and makes adjustments to their form).

TAMAR:
This is stupid. Everyone has a different style. Not everybody has to work the same way. If we can’t have the freedom to work our own way how can we expect the student to?

DR. WAC:
Every complex movement has foundational steps, Tamar. Hui, how can we maintain the foundation of what we do while connecting the process to the writer’s innate abilities?

HUI:
(to Glori) Your prompt is going to guide you. It is the first step in a complex dance – like ballet.

(He does a complex ballet move)

HUI (continued):
Without your foundation you can’t make more complex rhetorical moves. Doesn’t that make sense?

TUTORS:
No. Nope. Nah, lost me (etc.)

GLORI:
I don’t know about ballet, but I get you. I use to Double Dutch so I get the idea. Folks think it is easy, they think they can just jump in, but it’s really hard if you don’t know what you doin’. So the prompt is like the rope turner, sets the pace.

HUI:
Tell me about that?

(Sound effect: kids playing on playground smack of rope on pavement.)

GLORI:
The rope turner controls the pace. You, the jumper, gotta catch the rhythm of the ropes, only when you got the rhythm will you get your feet right. Once you can stay on rhythm you can do all kines of crazy moves.

HUI:
What happens if you jump in without knowing the rhythm?

GLORI:
You get caught on the ropes and you fall on your a- behind.

HUI:
We don’t want that. Tell me what you need to do to not fall on your ass.

GLORI:
In Double Dutch? Ok.. Well the turner sets the pace and the rhythm. You gotta catch the rhythm of the ropes. Watching it isn’t enough you gotta feel it and breath with it. Then, step up and jump in. Now, you gotta keep your knees high. When your ready to exit, you gotta’ jump up to get out clean.

DR. WAC:
Tamar, observe how Hui is able to adjust his questions to meet the student’s changing rhetorical needs. Hui, Note.

(Tutors quietly mime “Match the rhythm of the ropes” = 1st).

HUI:
The prompt asks, “How does poverty affect learning?” The prompt sets the pace. Your argument is the rhythm the rest of the paper is set to. I notice that in your introduction you didn’t state your argument.

DR. WAC:
React.

(TUTORS: 2nd = Step up and Jump in)

HUI:
This was confusing for me as the reader, I’m trying to jump in, but I had a hard time following where you wanted me to look.

DR. WAC:
Ask.

(TUTORS: 3rd = Keep your knees high!)

HUI:
How can you clarify your argument so the reader can follow you and not end up confused on the ground?

GLORI:
Well, I wanted to show how poverty feels to the poor. That it is not an element of learning. It is the whole system.

HUI:
I don’t see a direct connection from poverty to learning in your intro. When we talk, I get a sense of the connection, but as a reader it still feels like I’m at a distance, I don’t know where to look. How will you show the reader the reality, and importance, of that connection?

GLORI:
Poverty can’t be separated from learning. It affects every way a person exists. Poverty is not all big pain and hard times that exist before and after the school bell. It is the steady swing of changing expectations as you move for home, to hood, to school. It’s like this rope, always swingin’, ready to trip you up, and wearing you out. When you do get tired, and make a mistake, it will leave you face down in the dirt. Your feet all wrapped up and your hands bloody and dirty; and you cryin,’ tryin’ push yourself up off the ground. And whoever’s holdin’ the ropes makes the rules. It ain’t the parents, and it certainly ain’t the kids. This is the world we’re born into and by the time we get to school, you already know that you can’t change the rules. From pre-K to 12th grade, poverty is stealing your time, crowding your mind. Your mind can’t focus when there is no food on the table, and when your momma can’t make rent. Movin’, movin’, and movin’ again, and by the way there is no water this week and the electricity just went. Poverty takes up so much space, that learning – has a hard time taking place.

(Everyone is still, including Nayeli.)

HUI:
Would you like to write that down?

(She sits and writes.)

TAMAR:
Ok that was cool, but she still did all the work.

DR. WAC:
As it should be.
(Looks around)

DR. WAC (continued):
Why have you stopped?

(The Tutors go back to 1st)

DR. WAC (continued):
Each student and every tutor has a unique voice. We connect the process to the writer’s innate knowledge; this helps them retain and build a practice.

(Luis shuffles through his bag and pulls out his phone and starts typing.)

DR. WAC (continued):
Davu. Note.

DAVU:
What’s up man? You look like you have a question?

LUIS:
No, I just don’t know how to write this word in English. It is a really specific kind of phrase. I don’t know how to put it, so I’m using Google translate.

(As Davu makes each move the tutors follow with the ballet positions.)

DAVU:
(First.)
I noticed a mixture of Spanish language sentence structures in your writing.

(Second)

DAVU (continued):
I was wondering about that because those are the places that are not as clear for me as a reader.

(Third)

DAVU (continued):
Are those places that you’d feel more comfortable writing in Spanish, rather than translating into English?

LUIS:
Yeah, maybe. But I know it’s not right. I got the extension so I could work on that.

DAVU:
Have you ever heard of Code Meshing? It allows you to explore who you are as a writer and as a scholar, while using both languages, without sacrificing the clarity of your own voice.

LUIS:
Like Spanglish?

DAVU:
Well, it is kind of a blending, using both languages in a way that is natural to you. For example, when we’d visit my grandmother, and she was tired she would say, “Voy a hacer café” –

LUIS:
¿Tu hablas español?

DAVU:
Si, mi familia son Cubano. If I translate that into English in my writing people might think, “oh she’s going to make coffee’, but what she was really saying is – “Its time for you to leave.”, in a hospitable – uniquely Cuban – way. Yo lo deis en espanl perque mantiene el sentido.

LUIS:
You just write in both?

DAVU:
Yeah. It is a choice you can make – with the backing of research.

LUIS:
I don’t know….I’ve never had a teacher be ok with that….

DAVU:
It is a choice you can make as a writer, especially in a personal reflection. Just think about it.

LUIS:
Yeah, ok.

JASON:
(standing up)
I like this chick a lot! I think Imma use this quote!

DR. WAC:
Nayeli. Note.
(**Nayeli has on tap shoes at this point but it should not be noticeable until she uses them further in the scene.)

NAYELI:
(Still comfortably in ballet formation.)
What did you find?

JASON:
I felt this in my soul. Listen, “O God, that I were a man. I would eat his heart in the marketplace.” That is an insane visual.

NAYELI:
I really like that you are finding examples to include in your –

JASON:
Listen to this one! “I’d rather hear a dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.”

(Nayeli leans over to read what he is reading)

Jason (continued):
She is not having any BS.

NAYELI:
That is from Shakespeare, not from the chapter on poets… –

JASON:
(Flips the book to a different chapter)
That’s cold blooded.

DR. WAC:
Note please, Nayeli.

NAYELI:
Uh…um. I notice you like a lot of different genres –

JASON:
I do. I like it when we can mix and mash art – it keeps it interesting!

NAYELI:
Is that ever confusing?

JASON:
Not really. It’s like Bebop.

NAYELI:
BeBop?

JASON:
Yeah, Be Bop. Jazz had gotten stodgy and Charlie Parker came in and shook it up, created a whole new thing – BeBop.

NAYELI:
(Confused) What?

JASON:
BeBop.

NAYELI:
Oh…um, your prompt asks you to focus on –

JASON:
You know what this reminds me of – Savion Glover.

NAYELI:
Is that a poet?

JASON:
No. No. Well, yes actually, a poet in tap shoes! I mean, no one was even talking about tap dancing anymore and that brother (continues talking over Nayeli)

NAYELI:
Tap dancing.

JASON:
came along and changed the scene. He took this tired old man dance, pumped it with a blend of street energy and style, and brought a whole new energy to the game. He brought street drummers in, those old dudes were like this can’t – you can’t – blah blah

NAYELI:
(now with tap shoes: Stomp)
I can see you are really excited about brainstorming.

JASON:
Yeah I –

NAYELI:
(Aggressive Shuffle Stomp):
Your inspiration comes from everywhere. Which can be a little disorienting.

JASON:
I just open my mind and –

NAYELI:
(shuffle, shuffle, stomp, stomp)

Now how are you going to bring it all together?
Pull all the threads from Charlie Parker
(stomp),
Shakespeare
(shuffle stomp),
and Savion Glover
(shuffle stomp).
Pull them together as aliens are about to blow up earth.
(shuffle shuffle stomp stomp)
How are you going to make the connections?

JASON:
Ok, First.
(Stomp)
There ain’t nothing new under the sun. Second,
(Shuffle stomp)
the old guard act as gatekeepers keeping out what they deem unworthy. Third, (shuffle shuffle stomp stomp)
the cannon cannot control the craft.

(continues with more complex tap moves).

JASON (continued):
We should always expect the unexpected. Expect the young bloods to blow up the earth. Expect the Charlie Parkers and Savion Glovers. While the college professors are teaching Keats and Wolfe, the Lordes have made way for the Acevedos. They aren’t waiting in old houses protecting what once was; they are in the stratosphere – ready to blow shit up.

(Beat.)

TAMAR:
That’s hot.

(Nayeli motions for Jason to sit down to write, which he does.)

DR. WAC:
Indeed. Back to 1st. Run the seque-

TAMAR:
Wait, wait, I just need a second

DR. WAC:
Tamar?

TAMAR:
I think I got it I just need a second

DR. WAC:
Connect the work to your knowledge.

GLORI:
You gotta catch the rhythm. You can’t just watch you have to feel it.

JASON:
Ain’t nothin’ new under the sun.

DAVU:
It is a choice you can make…

TAMAR:
Every writer is the expert with their own voice, and every tutor has a unique way of helping them construct a writing practice. I felt like I had to do it just like you professor, or Nayeli, and if I didn’t, I was doing it wrong.

DR. WAC:
The steps are the same, but the style can change.

TAMAR:
My rhythm, my compás is my own.

(Sound cue: Claps in the timing of Flamenco 4 1 is a rest. 1 – 2 and 3 4. 1- 2 and 3 4. 1 – 2 and 3 4. 1 – 2 and 3)

TAMAR (continued):
Because it comes from a different place, but I can still help guide the writer by following the foundations.

DR. WAC:
Demonstrate please, Tamar. Note.

TAMAR:
Note: Notice a pattern in the writer’s work.
(Flamenco posture and footing)

DR. WAC:
Posture, core zipped up, chin up, back straight. Focus their gaze. React.

TAMAR:
React: Convey the feeling of what I see and how it affected me as the reader.

(Arms through 1st, 2nd, and 3rd with wrist and hand movements)

DR. WAC:
Arms open and strong. Expressive hands. Let them see what you see, direct their gaze. Ask.

TAMAR:
Ask: Be clear and specific.

(Footwork on last 2 and 3 with the heels of the feet).

DR. WAC:
Very good. Run the sequence.

TAMAR:
Note: Take notice of a place in the writing that is unclear to you as a reader. React: Arms Open and Strong, hands expressive. Convey the feeling of what I see and how it affected me as the reader. Ask: Be clear and specific. Help them engage and find their own solution.

DR. WAC:
Again. Stronger.

TAMAR:
Notice a pattern in the writer’s work. Focus their gaze. Let them see what you see, direct their gaze. Convey the feeling of what I see, letting them see how it affected me as the reader. Be clear and specific. Help them engage and find their own solution.

DR. WAC:
Thank you, Tamar. (To the group) You may all rejoin your sessions.

(The tutors sit at the tables and Tamar sits down with the flourish of a fan.)

SCENE.

SCENE 3

STANDARD AMERICAN

HUI:
I can really see the work you’ve done to clarify your arguments. Now, I can tell that your teacher prefers a particular style of grammar. Many Professors are more comfortable with using the lens of “The Elements of Style” and may require standard academic English when writing. It is common in academic writing to reference…..

GLORI:
SOMETIMES I THINK I’M STUPID
OR AT THE VERY LEAST GOT LEFT BEHIND.
I THOUGHT I COULD COME HERE AND MAKE A BETTER WAY,
ALL I GET IS A WHITER WAY.
EVERYTHING THAT I AM GETTING GRADED AWAY.
BUT THEY DON’T KNOW ME, OR MY LIFE.
THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO APPLY THIS TO REAL LIFE.

The poor people they talk about in these books is me. This professor, who wouldn’t DRIVE through my neighborhood, let alone send their kids to school there, talkin’ about the kids failing in our neighborhoods from a lack of ‘parental care’. And turn round and undermine what I got to say, ‘cause I don’t say it in just the right way.

I SPENT THE LAST TWO YEARS OF MY LIFE, MY HEAD DOWN, WORKING AWAY.
I TOOK THEIR SHIT – MADE MY WAY.
EVERYTHING I AM GETTING GRADED AWAY
I PLAYED IT SAFE AND HERE I STAND.
MY WAYS DON’T MEAN SHIT TO THEM.

We suppose to choose a research topic that is important to us. I chose poverty and education. They always saying that education is THE way out, and that learning is a two-way street. That is a lie, school has always been a one-way street – and a narrow one at that. They hold up the one who lived when they stepped into traffic as the real heroes “Dr. so and so!” “Homeless teen graduated summa cum something.” And they disregard the ones who are left battered, bruised, and dead on the side of the road. Like they just weren’t fast enough to catch on to the right way.

I GIVE UP MY LANGUAGE WHEN I WALK THROUGH THE DOOR.
I GIVE UP MY MOTHER TONGUE TO GET AN AVERAGE SCORE.
WHO AM I IF I CAN’T SEE ME
AND THE WORDS I WRITE YOU REFUSE TO RECEIVE.
I AM A SUB-STANDARD AMERICAN HERE.

LUIS:
I WAS BORN HERE AND STAYED ‘TIL I WAS TWO.
I WATCHED ELMO AND DORA TOO.
ENGLISH AND SPANISH WAS JUST ONE IN MY HEAD.
ENGLISH AND SPANISH ARE BOTH PART OF ME,
THEY MIX AND EXCHANGE IN A SWEET SYMPHONY.

We moved to Mexico when I was three. I started school because I could already read. En Mexico, me Encanto ir a la escuela. In the morning, mi abuelo would walk with me, and tell me stories of when he was a boy. He would bring me home at lunch and I would read a book to him. He’d say, que ”chispa tienes” and kiss me on the head.

LEARNING IS S’POSED TO BE AN EXCHANGE.
I CAME HERE TO IMPROVE MY RANGE.
WHAT I BRING NO ONE SEEMS TO RESPECT.
IT MAKES ME A REJECT.
ENGLISH AND SPANISH ARE BOTH PART OF ME,
THEY MIX IN A SWEET SYMPHONY

When I got back to the US, entre al primero grado, the first grade, I was place in el equipo rojo with the rest of the kids que no hablan ingles. I was sent away to another teacher while the other kids made fun. In my first week, era claro que mi Espnole vale menos, and has put me behind.

I GIVE UP MY LANGAUE WHEN I WALK THROUGH THE DOOR.
I GIVE UP MY MOTHER TONGUE JUST TO GET AN AVERAGE SCORE.
WHO AM I IF I CAN’T SEE ME,
AND THE WORDS I WRITE YOU REFUSE TO RECEIVE.
I AM JUST ANOTHER SUB-STANDARD AMERICAN HERE

I was never able to split my languages in two, no podia, no queria. Not in middle school or in high school. Writing takes so much time and I get left behind. I made my way, pero no encontre la voz que es mia.

ENGLISH AND SPANISH ARE BOTH PART OF ME,
THEY MIX AND EXCHANGE IN A SYMPHONY
I’M CONSTANTLY TRYING TO CHANGE HOW THEY SEE ME
BUT ONE LANGUAGE IS NOT HOW I’D CHOOSE TO BE.

THE PROFESSOR WANTS A REFLECTION OF ME,
BUT ONLY THE PARTS HE’S ABLE TO READ.

GLORI:
WHO AM I IF I CAN’T SEE ME,

LUIS:
AND THE WORDS I WRITE YOU REFUSE TO RECEIVE.

I’m just not sure what to do here.

GLORI:
I don’t know how to write the way she wants me to.

BOTH:
I GIVE UP MY LANGUAGE WHEN I WALK THROUGH THE DOOR.
I GIVE UP MY MOTHER TONGUE JUST TO GET AN AVERAGE SCORE.
WHO AM I IF I CAN’T BE ME,
THESE WORDS I WRITE MEAN NOTHING TO ME.
I’M A SUB-STANDARD AMERICAN.

GLORI:
What if I don’t.

LUIS:
What if I do?

HUI and DAVU:
What?

LUIS and GLORI:
What if I choose to write like me.

LUIS:
En español y en ingles.

DAVU:
You can be explicit. State it directly as you open you paper.

HUI:
As long as you know that it might not go over well with this professor, it is a choice you can make.

GLORI and LUIS:
What if they fail me?

DAVU:
You can appeal. Make a case for your Rhetorical choice.

HUI:
You can make an argument as to why you choose to write in your own style, as a way to justify your choice.

GLORI:
To justify it. I have to fight to use my own voice?

LUIS:
I don’t know that seems like a lot of work.

HUI:
Yes. It is not the academic standard. It may not be received well.

DAVU:
I have some cool research I can share with you. There are a lot of scholars talking about this right now.

LUIS:
Yeah, I’d like that.

GLORI:
Ok. Let me just get this finished and we’ll see what happens.

LUIS:
YO SOY AMERICANO NORMAL

GLORI:
I AM THE STANDARD AMERICAN HERE.

SCENE

SCENE 4

JAR OF FIREFLIES

TAMAR:
I notice that when you address the last question in the prompt, you don’t expand on how you will use (looks at the paper) “Holding space for the dying” in your practice as a nurse. You state that you will do it, but don’t say how you will do it?

LYNN:
There wasn’t really room for it. I can’t go over 4 pages.

TAMAR:
The prompt does give you space to do expand. As a reader I would enjoy seeing how you would use the information you present in your paper in a practical application.

LYNN:
Well… It’s just too much…really to express in this format.

TAMAR:
How would you like to express it, if you had more room?

LYNN:
I think I would tell the story of how my Grandmother died. No, really about how she lived…that she was my inspiration, and the reason I’m here.

TAMAR:
Ok. Tell me more.

LYNN:
My Gran lived on a farm in Cedarville. She taught me how to care for the living and the dying. That is just life on the farm. I was a kid, and she was everything.
Have you ever been in a field full of fireflies? They’d come out at dusk, like sparklers floating on the grass. A few at first, but by full dark the world is alive with cricket song and light. Gran told me fireflies were finding the ones they love and the glowing light was their love song.

GRAN AND I WOULD SPREAD A BLANKET, SIT AND WATCH THE SHOW.
WHEN THEY’D LAND ON HER SHE’D SMILE, WISH IT WELL, AND LET IT GO.

I would try to catch them but would end up crushing them in my hands.

She’s say, “GENTLY HOLD THEM FOR A MOMENT IN YOUR HANDS. THEN WISH THEM WELL AND LET THEM GO.”
I WAS YOUNG WITH LOTS TO LEARN.
A CHILD OF SUNRISE AND BIRD SONG.
I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THE BEAUTY OF FIREFLIES AND CRICKET SONG.

As I grew, I learned to be gentle, but I still didn’t understand.
I spent many nights trying to catch fireflies in mason jars. I wanted to see if they’d light up just for me like starlight in a jar. It never worked. Gran said their light couldn’t survive the dead air inside.

Gran would say, “THATS NOT HOW LOVE WORKS
YOU CAN’T TRAP IT AND EXPECT IT TO SHINE.
IF YOU MUST – SEE THEM UP CLOSE- CATCH THEM LOOSLY IN YOUR HANDS.
THEN LET THEM GO AND WISH THEM WELL.
THEIR LIGHT ISN’T FOR US TO HOLD.”

I WAS YOUNG AND SHOULD HAVE LEARNED.
I WAS A CHILD STILL FULL OF SUNRISE AND BIRD SONG.
I COULDN’T UNDERSTAND THE BEAUTY OF FIREFLIES AND CRICKET SONG.

On the day she died I held my grandmother’s hand. I watched the sunset and the fireflies rise. I wanted to lock that moment in a jar, to hold her light close to my heart. She had me to open the window as she took her last breaths.
I stood and watched her light leave me.

I WAS GROWN, BUT STILL A CHILD,
FINALLY HEARING THE CRICKET’S SONG.
I WANTED TO GO BACK TO THE TIME OF SUNRISE AND BIRD SONG.
A TIME WHEN MY GRAN WAS SITTING BESIDE ME.
I DIDN’T WANT TO KNOW THE PAIN OF FIREFLIES AND CRICKET SONG.

The night before I left my grandmother’s house, I sat on the steps and watched the fireflies rise. As I stood to go inside the crickets called me to the yard.
I walked through the soft warm grass, sat down and waited. Waited to feel my grandmother’s light, her love, surround me. As my tears fell and the night grew dark, one small light landed in my hands. I could feel her love’s light glow warm around me. She came to find me.

I SAID, “HELLO GRAN, I LOVE YOU TOO.
I MISS YOU AND WISH YOU WELL”.

SHE TAUGHT ME HOW TO CARE FOR LIVING AND THE DYING.
SHE TAUGHT ME HOW TO HOLD THEM GENTLY IN MY HANDS.
AND THIS IS HOW LOVE WORKS, EVEN WHEN IT HURTS.
THOUGH SHE WAS GONE SHE EXPECTED ME TO SHINE.
I AM HER GRANDDAUGHTER FULL OF SUNRISE AND CRICKET SONG.

I CAME TO SCHOOL TO LEARN BUT THEY CAN’T TEACH CARING.
I MUST TRY TO FIT BIG LIGHT INTO SMALL JARS, AND MY LOVE IS SUFFOCATING.
I WAS TOLD THAT THERE WILL BE TIME TO SIT WITH THE ILL,
THAT THERE WILL BE TIME FOR STORIES IN BETWEEN PILLS.
THERE MAYBE TIME FOR REASSURING WHILE CHARTS ARE BEING FILLED.
BUT TIME IS LIMITED AND I MUST NOT LINGER.
I MUST KEEP MY DISTANCE,
PROTECT MY HEART FROM THE PAIN OF PATIENT CAUGHT IN JARS.

I WANT TO HOLD THEM FOR A MOMENT, BUT THERE SIMPLEY ISN’T TIME.
I WANT TO HOLD THEIR HAND AND OPEN THE WINDOW.
THE SUN IS SETTING AND THERE IS NO SONG TO HEAR,
ONLY MACHINES AND RESPIRATORS PUSHING DEAD AIR.

I AM SUFFOCATING AND FILLED WITH FEAR.
BECAUSE THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SPACE FOR ALL OF ME HERE.
I KNOW WHAT COMES NEXT AND SOMETIMES I CAN’T BREATHE.
BUT THE COST OF LEAVING IS THE SAME AS DYING. BECAUSE
NOW I HAVE A CHILD WHO NEEDS A HOME, A FIELD, SUNSHINE, AND BIRD SONG.
SHE IS YOUNG AND KNOWS ONLY THE JOYS OF FIREFLIES AND CRICKET SONG.
SO, I LOOSELY HOLD WHAT LIGHT I CAN UNTIL IT IS TIME FOR ME TO GO HOME.
I’M NOT A CHILD AND I HAVE LEARNED.
BUT THIS PLACE MAKES IT SO HARD TO HOLD ON TO THE BEAUTY OF FIREFLIES AND CRICKET SONG.

TAMAR:
That is a beautiful way to articulate how this work is connected to you and the heart you bring to the work you will be doing.

LYNN:
This is not an English Paper. It’s for the Nursing Program. And my Nursing Professors don’t care about any of that. They care about APA and grammar.

TAMAR:
But –

LYNN:
I’m already at my page limit, and I can’t shorten any of the other sections, because they are worth more points. So I am going to leave it like this and get it turned in. Thank you for your help. I think I’ve got it from here.

(She gathers her things quickly and leaves.)

SCENE.

SCENE 5

WRITE, EDIT, REVISE

STUDENTS:
WRITE!
EDIT!
REVISE!
TUTORS
EVERY PAPER CONVINCING,
EVERY PAPER ENGAGING.
TAKE THEM ON A JOURNEY, TELL ‘EM A STORY

ALL:
AND MAKE SURE IT IS PROPERLY CITED.

NAYELI:
Well, you have a lot of ideas you are working with right now. Do you feel this has been a fruitful brainstorming session?

JASON:
For sure, for sure.

NAYELI:
Great. So I think we will wrap it up then. These ideas can give you a place to start on this project.

JASON:
I’m not sure….

NAYELI:
Not sure about what?

JASON:
All of it, any of it.

NAYELI:
Your ideas?

JASON:
Yeah, maybe the comparison is more like when your Dad and Grandpa are fighting about some old people stuff at Thanksgiving, while you and your cousins go get high at the park.

NAYELI:
Ummm… Well, that is a different way to go. You’ll want to give yourself time to edit and revise what you’ve written. And as fun as that sounds to brainstorm this new idea, I have a class in 10 minutes so I’m gonna have to hand this off to another tutor…

JASON:
What class are you in?

NAYELI:
It’s a creative writing class, which I think you would really enjoy. The instructors would really appreciate how you connect different themes in your work. What is your major?

JASON:
Haven’t decided yet.

NAYELI:
You should look it up when you finish English 102. Creative Writing is an English elective. You have a unique way of approaching writing, and you seem to be genuinely excited about the writing process.

JASON:
I will.

NAYELI:
For now, when you are done with brainstorming, you will move onto your first rough draft.

STUDENTS:
WRITE, EDIT, REVISE

TUTORS:
TAKE THEM ON A JOURNEY TELL THEM A STORY

STUDENTS:
DUE AT MIDNIGHT

DAVU:
I really like this moment where you reflect on wanting to be in the gold reading group and not the red group. It shows the stark contrast of your schooling in Mexico verses in the U.S. It makes it clear for me how lost you felt. You worked that feeling in the conclusion, too. Really giving me a strong impression on how your journey affected you.

LUIS:
Thank you.

DAVU:
As you think about your next draft, and future writings, remember to watch for subject-verb-object order. In Spanish it can be fluid, in English it follows that rule. What else did we notice in your writing?

LUIS:
Sometimes I mix up my tenses. Tenses, right?

DAVU:
Yeah.

LUIS:
I’m gonna read things aloud and see it that helps me spot them.

DAVU:
We really encourage that and it can make a difference. Is there anything else you should be mindful of?

LUIS:
Using a bunch of ‘ands’ and ‘buts’ at the beginnings of sentences.

DAVU:
I have a handout on transition words and phrases, to use instead of ‘and’ and ‘but’, let me grab that and I’ll get those code meshing articles too. I’ll be right back.

ALL:
WRITE

WRITERS:
EVERY PAPER CONVINCING,
EVERY PAPER ENGAGING.
TAKE THEM ON A JOURNEY
TELL THEM A STORY PROPERLY CITED
TUTORS:
GET READY FOR LAST MINUTE PROCRASTINATION,
LAST MINUTE PERSONAL STATEMENTS,
LAST MINUTE 12 PAGE VOMITATION.

NAYELI:
Take the time you need to build your argument and convey the importance of your thesis. Remembering that each new idea is a thread that has to be weaved through the story and connected to the argument. Ideas without connections – are distractions.

JASON:
I think in some way everything can be connected.

NAYELI:
You do have a knack for making those connections. Just make sure your reader is able to follow you, don’t leave us behind.

JASON:
Folks just gotta keep up.

NAYELI:
Knowing your audience is part of crafting a paper. If your audience can keep up, then cool, but that expectation can also leave a reader or your professor baffled and confused. Which might be reflected in your grades.

JASON:
Good point.

NAYELI:
Thank you.

JASON:
I gotta be like the Pied Piper.

NAYELI:
What is the Pied Piper?

JASON:
It’s from this old-time fairy tale. He’s got a magic flute and he’s able to lead rats and kids to their deaths.

NAYELI:
Ah. Ok. Well, I was thinking more like a tour guide, but Pied Piper works as well.

ALL:
EDIT

TUTORS:
TELL THEM A STORY

STUDENTS:
MAKE SURE IT’S PROPERLY CITED!

DAVU:
Here is the handout and the articles on Code Meshing. It is called trans-languaging in this particular journal article, but it’s the same thing. Academics and educator have become more aware of the value this brings the multilingual writers and audiences. Your story is part of a big conversation right now.

LUIS:
Yeah ok, thanks man. I really appreciate your help.

(Stuffs papers into his bags.)

DAVU:
If you have any questions let me know. I open every day until 1, today I’m on until 6.

(Luis nods and exits.)

TAMAR:
I don’t understand what happened. She told me – she really opened up and just when I thought she was going to make a connection to her work. She slammed the door.

DR. WAC:
I did see her leave rather quickly. That sounds like that was really hard end to that session. Do you think she was open to your suggestions during the session?

TAMAR:
Some of it. She really didn’t want to hear anything other than grammar and APA. Why are we spending all this time on “helping them build a practice”, when they don’t care and the teachers don’t care?

DR. WAC:
It is something I think we continue to struggle with as a college. Not just in Nursing, but across the different departments. If you feel like it would be helpful, you could email her the Oliver Sacks article we reviewed in journal club. He is a renowned medical researcher and writer. It is a way to frame how medical writing can be expressive and clinical. She may enjoy learning about his work.

TAMAR:
Yeah, sure.

(On a different part of the stage, Luis pulls out books and the papers fall out. He picks them up and starts to read.)

ALL:
REVISE!
EVERY PAPER ENGAGING.
BETTER GET READY.

GLORI:
(Reading) At face value, education is the poison and the cure for the poor. Poverty is your first teacher and it holds all the comforts and pain of home. It has marked you as its own. As a child of poverty, that is something you can’t unlearn.

HUI:
How are you feeling about these changes?

GLORI:
Yeah. Good. It feels right to me now. I think I can see where I was trying to sound too smart.

HUI:
Too Smart?

GLORI:
Not TOO smart, just not like me. Words from books not words from me.

HUI:
Ah …Well you clarified your argument, that helps me really follow it all the way though the paper. Your intro has a strong story brining the reader in and the Thesis is really exciting. You did say that you prefer to not correct – not change – your sentence structures. So that it is more authentic to your voice. Your conclusion really punctuated that choice, which to me is very satisfying!

GLORI:
Do you think that is a stupid thing to do?

HUI:
It really doesn’t matter what I think. I know you feel strongly about it and I want you to feel confident in the work you turn in.

GLORI:
Oh, I think this is so much better. It feels like me. The research is all there, I did APA right. Right?

HUI:
Yes. We went over the small changes. So yeah, that’s good.

GLORI:
Okay, good! So, I think this is good.

HUI:
Alright.

GLORI:
Thank you so much!

HUI:
It was my pleasure. Come back anytime.

GLORI:
I will, believe me! I’m gon’ go make these changes and turn it in so I can be DONE!

HUI:
Cool. Enjoy your Spring Break. Are you doing anything fun? Going on a trip?

GLORI:
No. My kids are still in school. I just take extra shifts at work so I can catch up a little bit.

HUI:
Ok. Well enjoy your break from school.

GLORI:
You too. Thank you again. I really appreciate your help. (She exits)

TUTORS:
WRITE, EDIT, REVISE

Davu (to Tamar):
You look grumpier than before. You get your coffee yet?

TAMAR:
Not yet. I’ll get it when I finish this email.

DAVU:
You finish your paper?

TAMAR:
No. But I don’t get off until we close so I hope I have time to get it done.

DAVU:
Ok well if you need a session after we close today, I’m on till 6.

TAMAR:
Thank you. That would be helpful.

(Luis reenters)

DAVU:
Yeah. No problem. (to Luis) Hey man, welcome back. You forget something?

LUIS:
No, I was just reading this, and I had some questions. You have a minute?

DAVU:
Yeah man of course. Grab a seat.

(Luis and Davu sit at a table)

ALL:
REVISE

(Phone alert sounds. Lynn, in a different area of the stage, who is hurriedly taking notes from her books. Looks at her phone.)

LYNN: (taps the message to open)

TAMAR:
Hi Lynn. This is Tamar from the Writing Center. It was nice meeting you today. I wanted to share a resource with you on medical writing –

LYNN:
(We hear the sound of an email being put in the trash. She puts down her phone and continues taking notes.)

TUTORS:
WRITE, EDIT, REVISE

GLORI:
(Entering on her phone) Listen, I’ve been called into work tonight. You’ll have to take care of your sister. Stay inside and let her watch one hour of TV AFTER she get her homework done. There’s leftovers in the fridge.
(MESSAGE ALERT SOUND – she looks and returns to her call)

GLORI (continued):
Make sure you do the dishes too. I don’t want to come home to a sink full of dishes. Ok? Ok. Love you, see you in the morning.

(She opens the email on her phone and reads.)

VOICE OVER:
Hi Glori,

Thank you for this updated draft! I am really able to see the work you’ve done to improve your paper.

Unfortunately, you are still missing the mark on writing for an academic audience. This style would be fine for a community newsletter or creative writing assignment. It is not appropriate for scholarly work. If you expect to do well in this field, you will need to improve your writing skills. I want to reiterate that you should visit the writing center on campus for additional resources. C+

(Glori Exits)

NAYELI:
It was fun talking with you, I hope your paper goes well. If you have a draft before we close today, you are welcome to come back in and sit with a tutor. You are welcome to stay in here and work as well.

JASON:
Cool. I think I will stay in here. I like the vibe.

NAYELI:
Alright.
(She gets up. Walks a few steps and turns back)

Nayeli (continued):
Jason, have you ever thought about working in a writing center.

(Blackout.)

CURTAIN

Audio

A1 – Due at Midnight Orchestration
A2 – Note, Reach, Ask Orchestration (the last 2:32 of N,R,A is the open source piece called Pink Flamenco by Doug maxwell)
A3 – Standard American Orchestration
A4 – Jar of Fireflies Orchestration

References

Boquet, E. H. (2002). Noise from the Writing Center. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press.

Canagarajah, S. (2011). Codemeshing in academic writing: Identifying teachable strategies of translanguaging. The Modern Language Journal, 95(3), 401-417. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/41262375

Condon, F. & Young, V. A. (Eds.). (2017). Performing Antiracist Pedagogy in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communication. Ft.  Collins, CO: WAC Clearinghouse

Garcia, R. (2017). Unmaking Gringo-Centers. The Writing Center Journal, 36(1), 29-60 Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/44252637

Green, N. S. (2016). The re-education of Neisha-Anne S Green: A close look at the damaging effect of “A Standard Approach”, The benefits of code-meshing, and the role allies play in this work. Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, 4(1). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2152/62583

Inoue, A. (2016) Agerword: Narratives that determine writers and social justice writing center work. Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, 14(1). http://hdl.handle.net/2152/62584

Inoue, A. (2019, April 4). #4C19 Chair’s Address [Video file]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brPGTewcDYY&t=154s

Shakespeare, W. (1623). Much Ado About Nothing. Act 4, scene 2 and Act 1 Scene 1.

Yabe, M. (2018). The journey of a Deaf translingual tutor. Writing on the Edge, 28(2)

Young, V. A., Barrett, R., Rivara-Young, Y., & Lovejoy, K. B., (2014). Other people’s english: Code-meshing, code-switching, and African-American Literacy. New York, NY: Teacher’s College Columbia University.