Recording Consultations

I only like my voice if I have a really, really bad cold. It's kind of cute then. The rest of the time it's terrible--loud, at a weird pitch, and constantly stumbling over word pronunciation as it tries to suppress an undesirable accent. I record my voice mail message over and over, but my voice doesn't change so I let the Mechanical Lady say that I'm unavailable. Her voice is pleasant. (All of my whining has to do with Writing Centers, I promise; you'll see in the next paragraph.)

The director of our center wants us to record one of our consultations in the next couple of weeks. "What a great pedogical tool!" I think. "What learning can be done by going back and analyzing how a consultation went, what I would change, what I would do again!"

But then, "Shoot! My voice! They'll hear my voice! I'll hear my voice!" How distracting. I'll be hyper-aware of the way my voice sounds through the whole session. This may mean I'm distracted from the writer, which is bad. It may mean I adapt an extreme minimalist tutoring approach, a la Jeff Brooks, which could be good or bad.

I think we all have something we can be hyper-aware of about ourselves. Does anyone have to deal with these things often in consultations? Has anyone recorded a consultation before? How did it go?


  1. I too used hate the sound of my own voice, Elizabeth. I thought I sounded like a right twerp. I tend to "umm" and "umm" way too much.

    Nevertheless, in listening to recordings of myself, I begin to understand why people see me as some sort of hyperactive. I do tend to be spirited in what I do. I also get a good sense of what I'm saying and how I can easily overwhelm people when I talk. That's given me the opportunity to "tone it down."

    In all, listening to myself, over the years, has helped me to become a better respondent to writers, given I can hear what they hear.

  2. You could always talk in a southern accent. That seems to work out well for you in the 303 class.....But seriously, I think I have to agree with Clint. I would love to record some of my tutoring sessions, so that I could do some self evaluation. But of course, I would have to keep the recordings and only play them back when I was hiding in a dark, soundproof room where no one else could have the slightest chance of hearing.......

  3. Anonymous11:03 AM

    I hate my voice, too. And I'm a vocal major. I don't think there are many people who like their voices--we can't all be James Earl Jones. We especially hate it on recording. Don't worry! I'm sure it's not at all as bad as you claim it is!

  4. Perhaps we need to introduce Karaoke into the Writing Center? Is there enough room in the budget to acquire this badboy:

    The WC Idolmaker


  5. Hey, Elizabeth.

    I am super nervous about recording a session. I don't like my voice, either; I sound like I'm ten. But, what I am most nervous about is that recording device. I'm afraid that it'll interfere with the consultation.

    It'll just be sitting there mocking me, all silver and blinking. I'm afraid I'll be overly aware of what I'm saying and what I'm doing, and I'll end up botching it up.

    I find it's almost impossible to "just be myself" when I'm being watched, videotaped, or recorded.

    Ummm...guess we'll see how it goes...


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