Friday, October 04, 2013

One on One on One

Hello, Blog!

I’m not sure how to answer the blog prompt for this week.
I just got out of a meeting for the Verbal Equinox editors and I never knew how much goes into editing…for any type of published writing! It’s crazy!
Person 1: “There should be a comma after the verb.”
Person 2: “No, because the verb is the past present of the future tense.” (Just kidding, I know there is no such thing)
Person 3: “But it doesn’t sound right that way.”
Person 4: “I think that the author’s creative license being used there, so it’s ok.”

No one can agree and so we just end up agreeing to disagree and writing off a lot of grammatical fluff as the writer’s use and style. Actually, I love it. By discussing different issues we had with people’s writing, I felt like we were actually accomplishing something. Each of us had something to say and some people noticed different things that other people did not notice. Each opinion had to be backed up by some sort of evidence and each thought was accounted as valid.

All of this made me think about how cool it is that our school has a Writing Center and DELC that has a group of people from all kinds of different backgrounds and with all kinds of different areas of expertise. We each have our own unique personality and way that we look at things. For instance, the way I approach a paper may not be the same way that one of the other tutors approaches a paper. I think it’s great that when students come in multiple times and have sessions with more than one tutor, they get to see what they have written through a second and third pair of eyes, each with their own take on a paper.

This also brings up the thought of more than one person tutoring at a time. “One on one on one” tutoring could be interesting. I definitely can see the problems with it, (arguing, competitive marking, overwhelming the student, differentiated opinions over what is “right” and “wrong) but the idea in itself seems good because one could have two takes on the same paper. If twice as many people look at it, not only would the paper become more diverse and unique, but I believe the writer would learn to look at writing from several different viewpoints as well.

With all the difficulties that may arise from this “one on one on one” tutoring idea, perhaps it would just be better if the professors that require students to come into the Writing Center and DELC have them come in for at least two sessions per paper. I know that time is limited, but if students would get their butts into gear and just do their work ahead of time instead of at the last second, then maybe this would work (“Fat chance of that ever happening…” Yes, I am dreaming).

In the interest of the students and broadening their horizons (this is college after all), having more than one person look over one’s paper is a good idea. Whatever the challenges and controversies of the issue are, having a paper tutored by more than one person is beneficial both to the paper and the student.





Blogger A.K. Packer said...

Hi, Cassity

I tell students that when they return to the Writing Center, odds are that they will end up working with a different tutor. I tell the student that this is great, because every tutor has different strengths, and unique insight into the writing process. I think most students can adapt to the vision of different tutors. If each session is approached with concerned professionalism, the student should realize that all of the tutors have the same goal; we want to help the student reach his or her own potential.

I have been in the "one on one on one" sessions you mentioned, with two tutors helping one student. In my limited experience, this was an effective strategy. The tutors supported each other, complimenting each other's strengths. The sessions became much more like a workshop than a tutoring session. I think the overall efficacy of such a system would rely on how well the tutors work together, and how much information the student can internalize.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

8:54 PM  

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