Friday, September 14, 2012

Bloggin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo

    I’m not sure how everyone’s first session is supposed to go, but I was dropped head first into mine like a baby escaping from his highchair. And, once it was happening, I felt just about as effective as a baby helplessly dive bombing the floor. All of my experience correcting friends’ papers and, indeed, experience gained through my own writing abandoned me. I was doomed for the cold tile floor awaiting me below.

    Luckily, however, I was handed a fairly easy session. A man had come in with a narrative essay for his English 1010 class about his trip to Jalisco, Mexico. I introduced myself, sat him down, and got right to work. He was looking for help with the structure of his essay, though as the session went on it evolved to focus more on basic grammar and such. After reading his essay, I assured him that his writing was actually rather good and his structure was clear and straightforward. Probably the biggest challenge I had was refraining from spending the entire session correcting superfluous mistakes, though there were a few thing that I made sure to mention to him. He had a fascinating habit of using their where he should’ve used there or they’re that was making my eye twitch.

    By the end of the session, we had decided that he should focus specifically on Jalisco rather than Mexico as a whole, considering that’s where he went on his trip and the city was in his title, but not in his essay. I encouraged him to feel free to inject more of his own personality into the paper, bringing up similarities and differences among him and the people in the state. We talked about the huge cultural importance of futbal, food, and music in Mexico and how those affected Jalisco specifically. I felt like I had established a pretty grand working relationship with the guy by the time he left, and I encouraged him to come back any time.
    With the session over, was really unsure of how I had done at first. Frankly, I was mortified. Even though the session had ended on really good terms, I still felt like I hit the floor more than once. But, as I lay battered and bruised, a fellow tutor reassured me that I had done really well and that I had no reason to be worried. There was still quite a lot of doubt in the back of my mind, but as the week went on and I had more and more sessions, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on things. Maybe I won’t crash and burn after all?


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