Amy and I have been discussing James Moffett and the ladder of abstraction. A lot of our talk about "service" is very high on the ladder of abstraction. What if we brought it down to the lowest rung of the ladder and have some concrete talk. But first, I would like to challenge all of you to play the believing and doubting game with the word "service" in relation to a first-year composition course. Part of teaching composition, I believe, is being open to and responding to ideas that may not be your own. So, we've covered many possible negative connotations concerning what "service" means, but imagine that you believe service could have a positive connotation. What could Gilles have meant?
When I do the believing/doubting, I see composition as a service course in the best sense of the word. If a service position, for example, a Wal-mart greeter, means that he or she is there to help, then that is what I am as a composition teacher. I'm there to help.