Sunday, September 16, 2012

First Session

My first session lasted around fifteen minutes. I started the session like every tutor should; I smiled, introduced myself, and asked where they wanted to sit for the duration of the session. Since this was my first session, I did warn the student that I had not tutored anyone before this. The tutee’s assignment was very simple. It was for the Information Navigator class, the class that demonstrates how to conduct research and cite sources in different formats. For this specific assignment, the student had to write a response to a question with a source she found online; along with answering the question, the tutee also had to cite that source in MLA format. The student explained that she was not sure if she had cited the source properly and needed someone to check. When I heard those words, for some reason or another my mind froze. Looking at the source and how it was cited, I could not tell if it was cited properly or not. I felt very unconfident at that moment. The last thing I wanted to happen was to have this student leave the writing center with the wrong impression and end up receiving a bad grade on that particular assignment. I stared at the paper for a long moment trying to remember what a source in MLA format was supposed to look. I could feel my cheeks becoming warm. After that length of silence, I finally had to say I did not for the life of me remember how an electronic source was supposed to be configured in this specific format. I suggested looking up and example in one of the English hand books nearby on the table. The student seemed fine with idea; she merely nodded. The first book I selected was the wrong one for this particular situation, so I put is back to fortunately pull the one that was needed. By now I was feeling quite anxious; I could not find an example I wanted fast enough. I stole a quite glance over at the tutee sitting next to me and saw a semi-annoyed look on her face. Before returning back to the book I had in my hands I looked at the clock; I had been in this session for nearly ten minutes. I could feel my cheeks becoming warmer. The book did not have what I was looking for and I didn’t feel like looking through another one. I then asked the tutee if she would like to look at examples online. Giving her consent we took to the computers. I brought up the OWL, Online Line Writing Lab, website I often referred to when I needed a question answered. I brought up MLA format and some examples. We walked though one of the examples until the student said her next class started in about five minutes. She thanked me for my time and left in a hurry. By the end of that session I was feeling pretty foolish. The only thing I felt I did right during that whole fifteen minutes was recommend a decent source. I went home after my shift was over and studied MLA format until I couldn’t keep my eyes open. 


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