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                            (First Person)2: A Study of Co-authoring in the Academy
	Recommended Citation
4 COMPLETION OF CARING Successful Co-authoring as Relationship
5 WHAT THEY DO How the Co-authors View Their Collaborative Writing Process
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(First Person)2: A Study of Co-authoring in the Academy (First Person)2: A Study of Co-authoring in the Academy

Kami Day

Michele Eodice

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Day, Kami and Eodice, Michele, "(First Person)2: A Study of Co-authoring in the Academy" (2001). All USU
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Page 108

luxurious synergy” they enjoy is not always possible but emphasized that co-

authors must have similar work ethics. Blitz pointed out the work load in col-

laboration is more, not less, and added that

to follow a project from start to finish . . . the amount of commitment is not com-

mon, and it’s easy for people to run amuck if it’s a project that takes more than a

year or two. Suddenly things come crushing in on the commitment, and there’s not

a lot of people who clear enough space, so gradually it’s become Mark and I collabo-

rating with each other mostly; this one works best . . . it’s reliable.

Blitz and Hurlbert concurred with our observation that co-authoring

means somebody is “there to make you continue”—they would not think of

letting each other down, not because of obligation or duty but because of their

trust and shared commitment.

The first other co-authoring venture I entered into after

starting to write with Kami was with a fellow student in a grad

class. By my reckoning, we simply never got off the ground

together, never really communicated our plan of action, and to

my mind, never really completed the project. I am sorry to say

that I never got his take on this; I simply turned in a section of

the paper to my professor, not wanting to tattle, and left it at

that. To this day I don’t know what he did or did not do on this

project. I thought at the time I was employing language to

facilitate our getting the work done, but I never had the sense we

were on the same page, never got any feedback or sense of

commitment. Now, I work with graduate students all the time, in

very high energy meetings where we develop ideas and map out

plans for research and co-writing about writing center work; this

has been extremely satisfying for me and for the students. I

would hate to think the difference is that I am more clearly a

facilitator now than I was then, because it would imply that I

couldn’t work in the role of peer with someone in my class, and

must be playing mentor to get into the project.

At one point in our conversation with Kathleen and James Strickland, they

agreed that they complement and compliment each other. Kathleen said

I think we’re each other’s cheerleaders . . . because this [writing] is so difficult it is

sure less painful to keep going when you have somebody supporting you.

Sometimes I say to Jim, “Do you really mean that or are you saying those things so

I’ll keep writing?”

96 ( F i r s t P e r s o n ) 2

Page 109

Because we took a feminist approach to interviewing, most of the co-

authors felt comfortable asking us questions, and on this topic Kathleen asked

us, “Do you ever find too that sometimes you do it [your share of the writing]

just not to let the other one down?” She went on to say that

there are times when I haven’t wanted to do this or I’m burned out and I’ll say, “Well

he’s not here” . . . you [to Jim] would never say anything . . . but it would make him

happy if I did this much, so I’ll do it basically at that point for him.

Lunsford and Ede echoed Hurlbert and Blitz and Strickland and Strickland,

in terms of support and shared commitment. They “have shared work styles and

shared ways of negotiating [their] professional lives that make [their] collabora-

tion also possible.” Ede said, “We meet deadlines if we possibly can and I think

we both respond . . . we trust,” and Lunsford emphasized “that level of trust”:

I know that if we say we’re going to do something, Lisa will not leave me in the

lurch. We’ve been through some very hard personal times together, and we sup-

ported each other through those times and still met our deadlines and whatever it

was we had to do. I don’t know many people that I could go down that road with . . .

have that absolute faith.

Lunsford’s statement exemplifies how Dickens and Sagaria’s collaborative

categories—pedagogical, instrumental, professional partnership, and intimate—

conflate and resist discrete classification. It suggests nurturing, pragmatics,

shared agendas, and close personal friendship.

The teams of Hui and Grant, and Brown and Roen, referred indirectly to

commitment and support. Hui considers one of the advantages of co-author-

ing to be that “talking back and forth pushes me forward when I know there’s

another person I need to respond to.” Roen admitted his energy is limited and

that he needs someone “holding my hand” or “nudging” him sometimes to

complete a task. When we asked Besemer and O’Quin about their experiences

with other co-authors, Besemer offered a careful answer, obviously reluctant to

criticize others she’s worked with:

I think when you’re working with somebody on something like this, you decide you’re

going to do something . . . then those regular old work skills of “you do what you’re

going to do on time” kick in. If you say you’re going to send them a copy of something,

do you send it? I think doing what you say you’re going to do goes a long way.

She went on to describe how their complementary “biorhythms” and per-

sonalities contribute to the support they give each other:

There’s another thing about working together that I’ve liked, and it’s been nicer with

Karen than with anybody else. Although Karen is an extremely positive and cheery

C o m p l e t i o n o f C a r i n g 97

Page 216

Spellmeyer, Kurt 37
Spiegel, Donald 71
spiritual 19, 23, 29, 39–40, 45, 78,

103,171, 174, 178, 184
Spivey, Nancy 28
Spooner, Michael 17, 21, 23, 118–119
Snow, Craig 93, 127, 131, 134
Stanforth, S. C. 41
Stillinger, Jack 17
Strickland, Kathleen 76, 154
Strickland, James 76, 154
Stuckey, J. Elspeth 94, 120, 173
Sullivan, Patricia A. 149
Szenberg, Michael 16

talk 11, 23, 76, 91, 95, 97, 113, 122, 127,
134, 164, 178

Tannen, Deborah 101
Tarule, Jill Mattuck 56, 82, 83, 95, 168
Tetreault, Mary Kay Thompson 8
Thomas, Dene Kay 82
Thomas, John C. 126
Thorne, Barrie 53–54
Thralls, Charlotte 17, 23, 36
time 11, 48, 121, 123–124, 126–127,

131–134, 136
Tomm, Winnie 98
Tracy, Dyanne M. 160, 162
Trimbur, John 17, 35, 138
Tylbor, Henry 9–10

204 ( F i r s t P e r s o n ) 2

Valek, Lynne 12, 29, 45–46, 48, 93, 164
Vermette, Paul J. 14, 122
Verrier, David A. 72, 159–160, 163
Vielstimmig, Myka 118–119
Vinkler, P. 71
Vipond, Douglas 17, 75, 128
voice 1, 19, 23, 26–27, 34–37, 41, 48,

79–89, 114, 119, 121, 129, 148, 157
Vygotsky, L.S. 19, 62, 65, 140, 148

Wasser, Judith Davidson 23
Weinberg, Armin D. 16, 71
Widdowson, Peter 55–56
Wilson, Robin 159
Winder, Alvin E. 49, 50, 51, 173
Winston, Roger B. 159
Wittgenstein, Ludwig 25
Wood, Diane R. 6
Word, Ron 118
Worsham, Lynn 57

Yancey, Kathleen Blake 6, 17, 21, 23, 45,

Yeo, Fred 178
Young, Iris Marion 38, 41, 51, 54, 93–95,

Young, Richard E. 44

Zebroski, James 36
zone of proximal development 62, 86, 129

Page 217


Kami Day, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of English at Johnson County

Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. In addition to her teaching, she

is involved in promoting writing across the curriculum, and is a facilitator in

the teacher formation movement based on the work of Parker Palmer.

Michele Eodice, Ph.D., is the director of the writing center at the University

of Kansas, where she also teaches courses in writing center theory and practice

and technical writing. She has leadership roles with the Midwest Writing

Centers Association and the National Conference on PeerTutoring in Writing.

Kami and Michele live and write together in Lawrence, Kansas, where

theyenjoy gardening, golf, and grandchildren.

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