From the editors.
When we first selected a date to meet to prepare this issue, we thought we had it all together. Articles set, material reviewed, important announcements gathered--all except for one, which arrived in Beth's inbox late one Friday afternoon: "Just thought you would want to know. Wendy Bishop died yesterday."
It has been 10 years since Wendy published an article in WCJ (though she published three between 1989 and 1993). Through much of her career, Wendy was not directly working in writing centers; however, she always gave generously of her time to support our work in a variety of ways, whether by reviewing manuscripts for WCJ or lending her name to worthy projects. As recently as 2002, Wendy gave the keynote address at the International Writing Centers Association conference in Savannah, GA, where she encouraged us to achieve "a Writing Center state of mind."
Neither of us knew Wendy well enough to eulogize her, but we did know people who could. Kevin Davis, Donald McAndrew, and Michael Spooner's contributions offer lovely remembrances of her in the pages of this issue.
As we drafted this editors' column, we looked back at Wendy's textual contributions to the development of writing centers, particularly the articles published in WCJ. Her contributions speak to her versatility as a scholar, from a statistical survey piece in 1989 (10.2) to a multi-vocal essay in 1993 (14.1) concluding with two poems that emerged from a collaborative conversation with Hans Ostrom. All of this was part of the hum of writing center work for Wendy.
This issue of WCJ contributes to that hum in ways we hope are vital. In Planning for Hypertexts in the Writing Center ... Or Not, Michael Pemberton addresses another issue that increasingly confronts many of us--how best to deal with the digital media that students are creating in everything from first-year composition to upperdivision public relations courses. While issues of new technologies and new forms of student writing remind us that "We're not in Kansas anymore" (unless, of course, you are our Associate Editor for Development, Michele Eodice, who is at the University of Kansas), Pemberton addresses how writing centers might react to such change or how such change might be avoided--perhaps at our peril. Next, Magdalena Gilewicz and Terese Thonus show us another way to deal with what's "new" in "Close Vertical Transcription in Writing Center Training and Research." The authors point out the limitations of previous textual description of tutorial interaction, a description that does not necessarily account for the complexities of the dynamic conversations that take part in our centers. Their alternative rendering of that interaction has great potential as both a research and a teaching tool as we all delve much more deeply into the particulars of what works and what needs work in our daily practice. Finally, in "Reassessing the 'Proofreading Trap': ESL Tutoring and Writing Instruction," Sharon Myers takes issue with some of the conventional wisdom on tutoring non-native English speakers, in particular issues of minimalist intervention and assumptions about students' understanding of the English language. In addition to her critique, Myers offers a great deal of practical advice for both new and experienced writing center tutors.
In addition to these articles, in this issue Mary Wislocki reviews The Owl Construction and Maintenance Guide (CD-ROM). (James A. Inman and Clinton Gardner, eds. International Writing Center Association Press, 2002), a potential shape--in terms of digital format and topic--of things to come for our field.
Each time we put the journal together, we wonder how such disparate articles and reviews will speak to each other. Sometimes it seems they don't. This issue might be one o f those times. We are reminded, through Wendy Bishop's work, that they don't always have to; they are all part of the warp and woof of the day.
Neal Lerner Elizabeth Boquet