Thursday, September 06, 2012

Sorry I Told You the Wrong Thing the Other Day…

I am most nervous about telling my students the wrong bit of information. What if they miss out on points in their class because I misdirected a certain concept on one of their papers? That kind of responsibility is a tad on the weighty side. I’m also scared of tutees asking questions I don’t have an answer for.  Also, when is there going to be enough time to correct mistakes on papers largely riddled with organizational errors not to mention grammar, syntax, and punctuation mistakes. Also, I am nervous about having the right terminology accessible so I can explain to students why something is incorrect and how they can fix the same error on future papers.
I have already been through a week’s worth of working at the writing center on the Davis Campus, but unfortunately only a few of my concerns have been addressed because so few students have used the writing center. There are too many procrastinators out there (myself included) and as a result I have not seen very many students this first week of school.
I appreciate Ammon’s optimism in his 2004 post because I forget more often than not confidence in teaching is sometimes half the battle. It looks like the previous tutors were nervous about similar things that I am still feeling unsure about: spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes on the paper that might escape my eye, leaving the student with a worse grade that someone who attends the writing center deserves. I like Blog090204 when he states his ideal of having a student come in looking concerned, then he as the tutor states something very wise then dismisses a happy optimistic student.
The best part about having the first week under my belt before getting the chance to answer this blog question is I’ve already told a student the wrong thing (refer to the title). She asked about how to explicate a thought so I told her to put it in italics instead of quotations. Hello, that’s for creative writing! If you are not explicating your thoughts in an academic paper what the (to quote my nephew) H-E-double hot chicks are you doing?! I should have said, “Drop the quotes. Never say “And I thought to myself…blah blah blah” in college writing! Ever!” Oh well. You live and you learn.        


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