Friday, December 02, 2011

My Time as a Tutor

My time spent as a writing tutor this semester has been pretty awesome. Conversing with students and helping them to develop their potential to become great intellectuals is quite the rewarding job. Not only that, my own competency as a writer has been on the increase ever since the semester started,and now that I've been awarded the Master Tutor's Certificate and gained some excellent experience on the job, finding a high-paying occupation in Beijing will turn out to be a cinch, at least I hope so. And so, I guess now is a good time to reflect on everything that seems to be growing out of my head that concerns tutoring writing. Well to be honest, the pay isn't too bad, but it's not like I'm making a six figure in-come driving my Lamborghini down the streets of Ogden, while all of the people look-on with envy, either. I suppose the greatest reward to be found working as a writing tutor is the opportunity to work at a university and become an expert in some field of knowledge. Whoops! I think there's a dangling modifier in the previous sentence. It looks terrible for a writing tutor to have a mistake such as that, but I'm guessing that reading my blog post is the last thing on peoples' to-do list.
So, furthermore, it kind of dawned on me towards the end of the semester that as much as I don't like posting bodies of text on the Internet - because I feel insecure about other people reading them and finding mistakes and in turn thinking that I'm one can short of a six pack - in similar fashion, students probably don't feel good about having their essays torn apart by grammar/punctuation Nazis in the writing center. Consequently, I want to congratulate Dr. Rogers and Dr. Hughes for ingeniously mandating that each classmate post his or her thoughts on a blog for the whole world to see in order to teach us a lesson in humility when is comes to thinking that we are the end-all-be-all of composition.
Moving on, through my musings of research articles, I stumbled upon a concept that is called Politeness Theory. If you haven't heard about this theory then I suggest that you look it up. Politeness Theory is useful because it can teach us knuckle-headed tutors how to not shatter fragile egos when helping students perform linguistic surgery on their papers. Having your writing looked at is akin to a visit to the Doctor's office where he or she asks you to turn your head and cough, a humiliating experience if there ever was one. So, like wise it's important to approach each tutoring session while being as polite and understanding as possible.


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