Thursday, September 12, 2013

C'est La Vie!

Well, my one and only experience with a student openly verbalizing or physically showing that our expectations were not in sync was the first OWL I chose to tackle this fall semester. Apparently, the tutee was not satisfied with the critique I gave them about her paper on feminism because I was not “extremely harsh” enough compared to other tutors and “overlooked big things like obvious typos.” Because she did not specifically ask me to be meticulous with pointing out grammar errors, I did not do so. I mean, of course, I noticed them and wanted to write a nice little comment for every single one of them, but it is not my job to do so. And, of course, I could have made the essay perfect (or nearly) with all the corrections and changes I made mentally as read through it, but, again, that is not my job. If someone has an opinion on something, I will not try to change it, even if it seems completely wrong to me.
My expectation is always that the tutee will come to me with an essay that they have already looked over for “obvious” typos, so we do not have to waste time doing them during a face to face or online session. Obvious typos to me are spelling, missing words, some punctuation marks, etc. Also, anything tutees can look up on the internet and comprehend on their own, such as how to head their paper properly using MLA, APA, Chicago, and the like. And, once we have gone over their paper and made corrections, I expect them to revise it once more themselves after retyping it or come in for another tutoring session before handing it in to their professor.
After this experience, I sense that some students just do not think about doing these things prior to their session or do but do not have the time to do so because they completed the essay or assignment at the last minute (the same fear I spoke of in Blog 1!). Needless to say, I was taken aback and frustrated with this situation because I felt like I did what the tutee asked me to do (and so did a few other people that I talked to about this), and what was worse was the tutee sent somewhat of an unpleasant email back about the fact once they sent it in again for further tutoring.
I honestly have not decided whether I am going to change my tutoring style and become more meticulous and be more of a perfectionist, which is what my personality is already like, but I felt was not appropriate for tutoring. This is due to the fact that I have never had an issue like this with my face to face sessions, and my other tutees have claimed to be satisfied with my help. But, I do not want that one incident to change what has proven to be successful so far. I did think about emailing them back and asking them if it would satisfy them for me to go back and point out to them everything I saw that was not on point. But, this would be petty of me! 


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