After four attempts to tutor in the writing center, the moment of truth finally arrived midday on a Thursday. I must say, I had already accepted that no student would come into drop-in hours while I was there, since my timeframe was coming to a close. In the remaining time I had, two students entered my cubicle with a peculiar request. Two relatives of theirs had died unexpectedly a few weeks ago- an aunt and her daughter. The aunt had written into her will a quote that she wanted on her tombstone many years before, but the family had decided to bury the mother and daughter under a single tombstone. The two students requested that I help them rephrase the quote so that it included the daughter. This particular situation was complex because other family members felt very strongly about it, as I was shown many emails with various suggestions for the quote. The students’ main priorities were to remove any grammatical errors and “make sure it made sense” within the context. In the session we discussed “who and whom” rules as well as comma use. I put a particular emphasis on the sentence being theirs to make the final decision because it was such a personal situation. Additionally, I requested the input of the tutor supervising my session. The two students seemed to be satisfied with the end results and thanked me profusely. After telling them they could come back at any time, I felt satisfied and confident at the end of the session. I even saw them later on at my job at Yogurt Vi! I would like to work on grammar rules for future sessions so I do not have to spend time looking them up during a session.
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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