Over the course of these past few weeks I've come into the question of formality. This is a crucially important detail in my case, for while I may appear fully able to control myself in writing, my casual conversation is heavily littered with expletives. I don't know if it's how I was raised, the role models I chose, or just the hand I was dealt, but I find few greater joys than expressing myself with a well placed expletive and more or less speaking like a pirate. No, I do not kiss my mother with this mouth- we're more of a hug-based family. Anyway, I've encountered very little casual swearing during the sessions I've observed, and I'm beginning to wonder if it's due to the fact that I'm observing, and because of this the tutor is trying to appear professional and set a good example. That's very respectable of them I suppose, but I'm a just a kid- my attention span isn't too consistent and I don't exactly have an overwhelming sense of respect for authority and/or formality, so it would be nice if these fine people would kindly drop an F-bomb once in a while to reign in my wandering mind and get me out of my super-serious "present and accounted for" mode. I'm a firm believer that we can learn better whilst relaxing in a comfortable (not reclined, though, to prevent accidental naps) chair than we can with our legs together, backs straight, chins up and hands held high in salute. How are you going to wrap your mind around a difficult concept if you're so tense, and so focused on remaining tense? If I was a writer seeing a tutor, I'd prefer that the tutor wasn't so "matter-of-fact" and "strictly business." In reality, a tutor and writer working together are just a couple of kids trying to help each other out, and I don't really see any need to pretend it's anything else.
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I have posted a poll in the IWCA forums: IWCA Forum: Peer Tutor => What do we call ourselves: the poll! It is a part of an earlier discussion that kind of petered out about the titles used for writing center workers. Please take a moment and vote! If you don't have an account on the forum, you can register for one by clicking on the "Register" link (next to the rocket icon in the top-right of the page.) Don't forget to state your institutional affiliation when you request and account. (That's how the IWCA Forum keeps out spam accounts.)
As a frightened freshman, I wandered deep in the bowels of the library basement. My eyes darted from room number to room number, looking for the aid my professor promised I could find. At the end of the hall, a golden light shone from an open doorway. My approach was slow and I lingered on the threshold. All uncertainty vanished when I was greeted with a smile and welcomed into the new world of the Tutoring Center. At the time, I did not know I would spend most of my weekdays in that room as a senior or how mundane this new world would become. How could I? I didn’t even know how much insight I would receive from my tutor that day! Being a learner in the writing center is a wholly different experience than being a tutor, yet I know many of my colleagues have not had the same learning experiences that I have. I think this is unfortunate because there is much that a tutor can gain from being a learner. It was my freshman year of college and everything was new. For me, that meant that fear
So, I was driving to school today and as always was listening to NPR (that's my self-promoting conversational piece informing you on how intelligent and connected I am) really, I just like the coverage on the campaign and "This American Life." Okay, I am already getting off topic and I haven't even gotten on topic yet. Anyhow, the story I was listening to was about a woman who used to be a part of the admissions committee at Dartmouth and is now working as an independent consultant helping students with the admissions process for schools. For a cool $40,000, she will work with you from 9th grade to graduation to help prepare you for your college admissions process. And for the budget price of $14,000, she will help you write and revise your college application essay. So, how in the world does this correlate to our world? Well, her work with college applications includes helping students decide on effective topics (staying away from "teen angst, or