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Showing posts from October, 2010

The Hidden Lesson

Several aspects of a writing consultation involve isolation. We isolate ourselves in where we tutor- shutting ourselves into tiny carrels with just the client. We isolate aspects of papers that need work, while disregarding things that might be only considered “acceptable.” We isolate subjects and style guides and types of writing, without thinking how all types of writing are equally important. Mostly, though, tutors often forget about the emotional needs and wants of the client. We forget that while we have done the tutoring process over and over before with all types of people, many “first-timers” may feel isolated and nervous in their first session.

My most vivid memory of this incident is with a client I had from Panama. His name was Ricardo and he was a freshman who had transferred during the spring semester. He came in with a lot of confidence about whom he was as a person, but still seemed very nervous about the contents of his paper. I could tell he was rather anxious, so I to…

2010 Conferences

So, it's been a while since I have posted and it's good to be back.

I was wondering how many of you are attending the IWCA-NCPTW conference in a few weeks and if you will be presenting? Or are you attending any other conferences?

It will be good to know a few people on my first trip to Baltimore (can you tell I'm excited)!

Observation Reflections

My observations allowed me to better see the varied but similar methods of tutors in the SWC. When you shadow multiple tutors over a period of time, it becomes obvious that each has their own style, knowing what works for them. For example, some tutors choose to read to themselves before offering any critique, some ask the writer to read aloud, and some choose to read along together, asking questions along the way.

I think a big lesson to take from the experience is that tutoring is by no means a science. While we may come up with theories about how the ideal tutorial looks like, we really can never rest on one idea over another because two things will always remain true: there are many ways to teach and there are many ways to learn. Because of these two truths there can never be an ideal tutorial, in my eyes. Sure, we aim to be as thoughtful and considerate as we can, but a tutor will rarely hit that perfect pitch within a 30-minute period; the situation just isn’t built f…