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Hi, everyone! I had a weird consulting experience yesterday that left me with questions pertaining to the invasiveness of the work we do. I had a consultation with a writer yesterday who was working on revising an essay. He was very quiet and seemed somewhat lost, without any goals of what he hoped to accomplish. (Signs that perhaps he had been forced into the center, I suppose). We read through parts of his essay, and decided to work on issues of sentence structure. I slid a pencil and notepad his way, so we could try out some choices for his sentences specifically. He hid the notepad from my view and started writing furiously. After about two minutes he looked back up, but he still seemed to be actively hiding the notepad.
Was he embarrassed about the notes he had taken? Had he been writing something that didn't pertain to our conversation at all? Would either of these things have been any of my business? I didn't ask him what he wrote and he didn't tell me: we continued our conversation on the sentence. This secret writing break occurred three more times during our consultation. Each time I debated whether or not to ask him what he was writing. I'm hyper-aware of being too teacher-authoritative in the center, so I didn't want to say something that would sound like "ahem, Can you share it with class, please?" I wanted our session to be productive, but I also didn't want to invade his privacy. He has the right to write, after all. But was his writing in the interest of the session? Is it my job to find out and mediate? Would you have confronted the issue? How and when?