It was a typical Tuesday afternoon... or so I thought.
3 appointments in a row, coffee in my cup, and smiley faces on all the consultants.
Then it happened...
A young enthusiastic man entered the room. My 11 o'clock.
He had not been in before--so I gave him the paper work and we got started.
I asked him what he wanted to focus on and he replied,
"just grammar and punctuation. You can use my red pen and circle whatever you find."
A red pen?! Red pens scare me! What if I circle the wrong thing? What if I make him cry?
I am not qualified to use a red pen. Pencil maybe--but not the deadly red ink.
Plus, it goes against what the BSU Writing Center is all about.
This is supposed to be collaborative work! I replied,
"Haha... we work with you to help fix things. Let's read through some stuff you have questions on and I can see if I can come up with an answer!"
He was confused. "I thought you would be mean and mark my paper all up!" he said, looking at me.
"Nope. I feel like it will help you learn better if we work together." I said with a smile.
He understood. He understood!! I could tell it made sense to him. But this idea of working "together" had never been brought to his attention. At the end of the session he said he had learned a lot, and he would be back with a final draft. :D (yayayayay)
After that, a young girl came into the center who had never been in before. After we chatted and filled out the necessary initial paperwork she started rummaging through her bag.
"I know I have a red pen in here somewhere... it really helps me if you just circle everything in red and then I go home and fix it. That's what my teacher does."
Another request for a red pen?! No! Don't do it! I started to get nervous.
To her dismay she could not find it... so I grabbed a pencil and said, "Pencil is usually my style anyway. I would like to think of these sessions as 'collaborative' rather than me just telling you what you did wrong." I smiled. She smiled.
"Oh, that works!" She then said. And we started to look through her paper together as she read it out loud.
The rest of the session moved smoothly and at the end she seemed satisfied at the amount we had covered. No more mention of this said "Red Pen".
We all lived happily ever after. The End.
Is anyone else scared of red pens? Does any other center use them frequently?
I don't think BSU does at all.
We like out blue and orange; old school; plane gray graphite; no. 2, pencils. :)
No scary red ink.
Thanks for reading my story.
Signing off for now--