This blog relates exactly to that of Sarah M., who posted a few days ago. I have consulted with this “Bob” she speaks of twice, he actually mistakenly scheduled with Sarah the week before last. His work was actually creative non-fiction, which was more bothersome to me than it would have been had it been creative fiction. I have been struggling with these consultations since the first one occurred. I have not been sure how to take them, but I too, was pleased with how they occurred in the end. I have talked with Mike about these consultations on several occasions, and he is kind enough to make himself available in the Writing Center whenever Bob comes in, should I feel need to bring him into the consultation.
The extremely sexual nature of his work can be rather bothersome. During the course of the consultations I have engaged in with him, I have felt perfectly fine, being able to distance myself from the content of the text and focus on the formatting, but I have also found myself in positions of discomfort. On the most recent occasion, he asked me if I would read the text aloud, and I tried to ever-so-slyly turn the reading back to him because I could in no way comfortably read the material out loud.
I am not sure what to do with the situation. I have managed to place myself in a position in which I do the best I can to help him. I have been able to refer him to three books over our two consultations, which he has actually purchased and begun to read. I was quite pleased to learn this, that I was able to help him in some way at least.
I worry though, about the other consultations occurring at the same time as his. During my most recent consultation with him, there were several individuals listening in, curious of the content that was involved, and also keeping eye, Mike heard the entire consultation from essentially a couple rooms over, and I worry a little about the other students that come into the Writing Center, and if overhearing might be uncomfortable to them.
Does anyone have any suggestions for ways to make the situations more comfortable, not only for the consultant, but possible other people who might overhear and be bothered?