The emphasis on acculturation in relationship to the writing center is over exaggerated. This “new” writing center isn’t some hoax-y melting pot. It’s a way of establishing standards to participate in a specific academic environment. This is true for many discourses. There are so many arbitrary and superfluous academic standards that students have to go through: the sats, multiple choice exams, college applications. All of these endeavors are looking for a sort of norm or standard so a sort of academic excellence can be gauged. We use this pedagogy in many arenas of life, it’s a way of determining standard deviation from the norm, I am digressing a bit here I know. My main point is that there are many aspects of life that utilize the application of standards we adhere to. Do I agree with it? Does it really matter? No and probably not, but I understand it.
My main gripe with this article was it’s centralization of the acculturation on the writing center. I think working to change the writer is a good thing. The writer signs up for the writing course (most of the time) on his or her own volition. He or she is obviously doing it to get a grade. The impressionability of the brain at this point is somewhat ignorable so worrying about whether the ideology of the “new” writing center as affecting their idiosyncratic and cultural essence/diversity is absurd. It’s also not just students who are unfamiliar with this particular culture who are assimilating , it is all college students. High school prepares students in many different ways for writing and then particular colleges rally for a different way of writing. Students learn to adapt for the grade and those who truly want to become good writers do, and do so in their own terms. Firstly they demonstrate their mastery in rules and then they break them.
I feel like the focus on this issue is inane and laughable. When the article reads, “the process of subordination…. alters the way Derek perceives his experiences” is a manipulation of language. The article seems to throw in words of acquiescence and imperialism to implicate an inexorable tyranny that isn’t necessarily there. There are always rules and restrictions in an academic system or in any institution, the students choose to be a part of it. If the acculturation and disregard for the “weaker” culture is truly pressing then why not establish two different kinds of writing programs? If you want reform it is beyond the writing center’s moral and social jurisdiction. To truly have an integrated curriculum that was accepting and “non dominate” it would have to include a change in the way we grade and mark academic excellence. Do i want people to be discouraged from entering a university because of a sort of acclaimed acculturation taking place no, but I want people to be realistic about what they are signing up for. I also think there should be better programs in high school that tailor to the specific preemptive collegiate needs and requirements of the students.