I love the English language and especially enjoy finding comparable differences in words that share similar roots. For example, what is the difference between a champion and a championship? The answer: The number of participants. A wrestler may be the champion of his weight class, yet his team-with only his successive efforts-may still lose the championship; “There is no ‘I’ in team.”

Ironically, a similar wordy comparison can be found in tutor and tutorship. True of sporting and tutoring, there will always be a teacher and a student; a coach and player; a master and an apprentice. However, is the teacher the only one teaching or the student the only one studying? Of course not; each are being edified by the other; each are learning from one another. Thus I may be a great tutor-an expert in my field of education and writing-but do I embrace tutorship? Do I look down on my student and desire to carry him up the ladder to my level knowledge with a “know-it-all” attitude? Or do I see both of us as a team of masons, of writing; he holding the bricks to be laid and I spreading the mortar for the bricks to be stacked? Thus is tutorship a joined and intended to be an enjoyed experience: like writing, it is not one-way communication, it's a two-way conversation. Tutorship means teamwork.


  1. Well put, David! To carry on your mason analogy then, a tutor is a sort of journeyman working with apprentices to get them to a level where they'll all be master masons. I think I want to start class with the various analogies we've come up with in our postings. It is a truism that all analogies ultimately fail, but I think we've got some fine ones that tell us a lot about the work we can do with writers.


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