Writing Center Gothic by Sotodeh Ebrahimi

Post date: Nov 27, 2017 8:50:53 PM

  • You’ve been looking for the Writing Center for days. They told you it’s in CDC. No, CBC? You’re not sure. You think you’ve found it. No, that’s the English Language Center. You turn around and you’re lost again.
  • There are pens everywhere, but never when you need one. You were just holding a pen. Weren’t you?
  • You hear faint whispers from where you sit in the waiting area. “Your essay is well organized, but your thesis needs clarification.” What is a thesis? It sounds important. You are too afraid to ask.
  • Streamers hang from the ceiling. Why are there streamers? Is it someone’s birthday? It is always someone’s birthday.
  • “We have just the handout to help with that,” you hear your consultant say. She hands you one handout after another. Just when you think she’s done, she hands you another handout. You wait for her to stop giving you pieces of paper. She never does. The stack you are holding grows as tall as your torso, yet it never falls over.
  • You see a sign: “no writers past this point without a consultant.” You can’t find a consultant. You hear whispers and laughter past the sign. You inch backward.
  • The intake sheet asks for special concerns. You don’t have any special concerns. You’re concerned about everything. No one concern is special. You are now concerned about your concerns.
  • You call to make an appointment, but are told the consultants are all booked. This makes you want a consultation even more. You keep calling. They pick up and know it is you. You now have an appointment and are excited, but you don’t know why.
  • A consultant walks down the hallway with a sheet of paper. They call out a name. It’s not your name. It’s never your name. You wait patiently, forgetting you arrived half an hour early.
  • Someone told you to bring two copies of your work for your consultation. You print two copies. The printer spits out another copy. And another copy. And another copy. And another copy. You forget how many copies you needed. You take them all. The printer is still printing while you walk to your consultation.
  • Every five minutes, you hear someone talking about MLA format. You’ve heard about it before, but you can’t remember where. You wonder what MLA stands for. They must be the initials of someone important, the long lost love of English teachers everywhere.
  • There is a schedule for workshops on the wall. You consider giving up your life to attend all of them. You wistfully shake your head and register for just a few.
  • There are people scattered in the computer lab. Everyone is typing furiously. Something pulls you toward a computer. You sit down and begin typing too.
  • Your consultation beings precisely on the hour. Your consultant leads you to a room with two tables. Both of you sit down, only to get back up again. Forty-five minutes have already past. Your consultant shakes your hand. You feel a sense of satisfaction. You must have had a breakthrough, but can’t remember. Words swim around in your head.