Yesterday I walked into the Learning Studio with the perspective of a student, not that of a mentee or an observer. Simply changing my ambitions for showing up ultimately seemed to have an impact on how I felt coming in. I anxiously waited on a bench for my tutor to show up. I had not met this gentleman before and was curiously scanning the room to seek out my possibilities. I had only been there for two minutes and my tutor, introduced himself to me as we made our way to a cubicle he seemed to have been sitting at.
We sat down and I gave him a basic overview of what I was aiming to accomplish with the four page paper I had written for my Writing Theory class, that I needed help revising. He asked me to read the paper and I began to read the paper out loud. Once I was done, he appeared to admired the use of details I presented to make a specific tutoring session come to life with the actions of the tutor and the student.
It was then his turn to read the paper out loud. He claimed he was doing it for I had read over my paper so fast he had a hard time finding any mistakes. It was kind of embarrassing to be confronted on reading too fast but I knew deep down it was a bad habit. It was certainly something I could keep in the back of my mind when it was my turn to tutor. He read through the paper and time to time, he would re-read a passage slowly. He would say, “Hm…something doesn't seem right” and I took that as my opportunity to ask to see the paper and take a peek myself. Typically when this happened, it seemed to be a missing comma or a different word choice needed.
Eventually the session came to an ending and I was feeling more confident walking out than walking in. Meeting someone new always brings me a little bit of anxiety but surprisingly, reviewing over my paper did not. Perhaps already knowing the intentions of a tutor gives me the advantage of being calm and feeding out own thoughts and not expecting someone to feed me answers. I think having this hidden knowledge, so to speak, will certainly help me to be more confident when it comes to not only my work, but additionally when I have students who may walk in with a sense of anxiety as well.
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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.)
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