Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I seem to be involved in a lot of meetings lately; it's an odd thing. I led my first O.T. workshop on Monday; my six students and I discussed revision. It didn't go badly, I don't think - but not as smoothly as I would have liked. There are four groups, two of which are in separate classrooms; another group was led by a tutor who expressed preference for the corner of the Writing Center with the tables and chairs, which left me in the other corner that only had couches. (It's hard to talk when people keep walking by you; it's hard to write when you have to write on your lap.) I'm going to see if I can get us our own classroom, or at least stuff ourselves in a corner with tables and chairs. I want to be able to have the students in my group work with each other, and write, and be able to talk to each other. Each week, after our O.T. workshop, the five tutors who lead said workshops get together with Lynn, the woman who anchors this project, for a meeting, which was pretty interesting, insofar as I have no experience in this field and was interested in hearing the other tutors' experiences.

Today we also had the first of our bi-weekly Writing Center staff meetings; and, separately, had the first of our bi-weekly mentor meetings (in which we discuss issues encountered in our tutoring sessions, tutoring strategies, etc.). The mentoring meeting I'm less interested in from a mentoring standpoint, since I already have a fairly long background in tutoring - although I do find it interesting to see how other people are tutoring, and developing more skills and strategies that I can use in tutoring; but within the context of a mentor group I'm finding it hard to take advice about tutoring from someone who hasn't been doing it as long as I have. I suspect I need to become a bit more humble about it. I remember a tutor at Stony Brook University telling me that she couldn't learn anything from me because she'd been tutoring longer than I; she wasn't telling me this to offend me - I understood the context in which she was telling me this - but I remember thinking that it might still be possible that I had another perspective about tutoring that she might have missed. I think the way I need to go into these mentor meetings is with that attitude of there being other perspectives I may have missed.

On the agenda this week is to read five chapters of Everyday Writing Center: A Community of Practice; two chapters of Language in Society: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics; and the Langston Hughes short stories "Thank You, Ma'am" and "There Ought To Be A Law." And one short journal entry to write. This is a lot more reading than I'm used to - in much shorter periods of time - but the reading is by and large interesting.

This past weekend was a social one (and I didn't get all my reading done as a result; I need to get my reading done in a more timely fashion).On Saturday JB and Amy took a bus trip from upstate down to New York City; Chris and I met them and spent the day walking around - across the Brooklyn Bridge, into Brooklyn Heights, over to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and back into Manhattan. Chris and I deposited them back at their bus and made our way back to Brooklyn Heights and had dinner. On Sunday Chris and I went to the Oompah Fest at the Plattdeutsche Park Restaurant. (Very good food - way too many people.) It was a beautiful weekend, and great weather, and I was happy to spend so much time outside.

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