Monday, November 11, 2013

Highly Belated Blog 1: Whose Afraid of Virgin Tutees?/ Shelley Williams/Fall 2013/

My Blog 1, Blog 2, and ultimately my first reflection/response are all mish-mashed in my head and somewhat in my written musings, and I thought I had submitted this (and likely did in the wrong location and format), but my Canvas is showing no grade for it. So, I now return to my guttural response of what I am/was most afraid of with tutoring. It is not each session, nor was it first sessions, but rather personal outcomes that I am most afraid of—both the students’ and my own.

I want them and me to get the most out of tutoring as possible. That’s my bottom line. To elaborate, I’m (or was) most afraid of not learning enough in this course to make the course, my tutoring time and experience fruitful in the long run.  I know the answer now to address that fear.  I’ve learned a monton—that’s Spanish slang for a lot, a heapload, a boatload .  Critically, this monton has been about myself, my learning and tutoring/teaching style and how I can enhance these; this monton has led me to decide to change my major to a more relevant one—Spanish teaching (Ogden City School District is nearly 50% Latino), and/or ESL, or I am even entertaining a second M.A. in Educational Leadership and Policy, which could prove a better fit since I love being in a higher education setting and have not as yet been able to break into the public school system outright, even with an ARL and teaching certificate in hand.

So, perhaps it is serendipity/province that I was unsuccessful in submitting this blog properly the first times(s) because I can and do now address my own initial concerns.  Though I have made this journey before at a writing center, have done tutoring, and have taught 1010 composition (actually, I did both those things concurrently), have an advanced degree, I am still kept up at night at times by having little to show for it as compared with others (peers) with the same degree. I met such a person at the Rocky Mountain Peer Tutoring Conference. He is now the Writing Center Director of Dixie State University, an institution I attended right out of high school because I didn’t want to be a number, but a name, a name I know I have not made for myself in the world, such as it is.  I only lasted a school year there at Dixie, and barely that before I landed several semesters at Weber State, including an intensive block English program summer.   I look back now and see all my education as stepping stones, and indeed, my education is the one thing no one can take away from me.  I may lose jobs by restructure/RIF, I may be holed up as a starving poet/part-time philosopher in some relative’s basement or worse, but I know how to learn, and I know enough about something that I have the great opportunity of tutoring students who are beginning their writing journeys even as I muddle in the middle of mine.  Mine will not be done until I take my last breath. 

Though I realize to leave my blog somewhat as it was will be nurturing my tendency to use the blogs as therapy, to retain my honest first response, which is what a blog and generating text should be, and that first response included the fact that I am kept up at night also by fearing that I have less in common with the young tutors and students than I did in days past.   But, alas, this does not mean I am not learning—that common goal of us all in this course, and of all peer tutors, and of all students.  I am a student again, but I am also a tutor, and deep in my heart, I am still a wanna-be teacher. ‘Nuff said.  This is my edited blog ending; what follows below was part of my first-response version. You can read on if you like, or abandon ship at this point). That’s the beauty of writing and reading—it’s re-doable, editable, and done only when you decide it’s done.


Bottom line: Will it have been worth it after all, when I am a pinned and wriggling insect on a wall at the end? (My time spent on T.S. Elliot starts to show here). Students, the professor of every course, this one included, and I, all evaluate me in every present moment (when we’re not preoccupied with ourselves alone). That assessing, constant assessing, is part of academia and part of life. What worries or concerns me is whether, to be cliché, I’ll cut the mustard, yes, but also whether, even doing so sufficiently well, what gain this will win me in a long-term employment vein? Though I love learning for its own sake and with it, gleaning hopefully some wisdom, which I think is possible from every tutor/tutee exchange, I suppose I long for the old American dream even if tinged with the new American reality—i.e., if not a house, 2.5 children, a dog and/or cat, at least the ability to be self-sufficient again. As the old Jiffy Lube commercials used to say, “We don’t want to change the world, we just want to change your oil.” I’d settle for the latter, but I know in so saying I am indeed settling because I know that writing and writing well, has the power to change the world. The power of the pen is (or can be) mightier than the sword.  So far, my wielding of the pen and helping others wield it, has been more self-transforming than world changing, but the world is made up of individual souls, and so, I must be content with whatever I gain or give, in the course of this course and through my tutoring running its semester’s course.


Post a Comment

<< Home