Friday, September 30, 2011

September 30

Well, this week was a big one! Although we are not put on the scheduler until this coming week, I had my first ever consultation on Monday. (I also just realized that I used an exclamation point in my very first sentence. Blogging somehow merits one much more for me than writing an actual paper or story does though.)
I didn’t really have enough time to be nervous because he was a walk-in writer and we were totally booked, so I asked if I could jump in and take it. I immediately introduced myself to the writer, and shook his hand. I feel as though just shaking hands established a connection already. We sat down with his paper for his English 102 class. I set the paper directly between both of us on the table, and leaned on the edge of my chair (although, I wasn’t really conscious of doing so…it was mostly because I was nervous, but I’m glad I did! I felt very alert and attentive. Like a consultant, in other words. ) I asked the writer what his main concerns were with the paper, while maintaining eye contact. He responded kind of reluctantly, not really knowing what it was he wanted help with exactly. He said he wanted help with his “flow” and to make sure that all of his ideas were cohesive. Good start. It was an exploratory essay about justice systems in Idaho.
I asked if he would mind me reading the paper aloud while he watches on so that he can hear how his own ideas flow. He said that would be great. As I read his paper aloud, slowly and concisely, I would pause whenever there was something that would catch my attention, such as a grammar, spelling or tense issue. I stopped and explained bits to him and he seemed to be really receptive and to understand right away. I felt kind of cheesy, but like it would be a good idea to throw in a bit of an ice breaker about how all words kind of start to look the same when you’re writing a paper for too long anyhow, and it’s easy to accidentally fudge over conventional rules. There was nothing really that he seemed to actually not understand, but rather, he just seemed so exhausted from having spent so much time with this one paper. When we were through, and a few areas had been slightly altered to be grammatically correct, I noticed that we still had fifteen minutes. Amazing! Thank goodness though, because he had sited absolutely nothing throughout his paper and had a totally not-MLA works cited page. I asked him what format his professor wanted, and he said MLA. Hooray for MLA handbooks and hand-outs to back up what I do know about MLA and to clarify the things I’m a bit more hazy on (such as the exact structure of a works cited citation). I’m so glad we had those fifteen minutes, because we were able to really give him a more solid works’ cited page (or at least the guidelines for creating one), and we went through his paper again, and I circled areas in which he would need citations (a.k.a. information about other people, organizations, etc. that he couldn’t have previously known about.)
It felt like a very thorough session to me. Another ten minutes would have been fantastic, but I did urge him to come back anytime he ever needs to and offered him candy which he gladly accepted. When we finished, I asked if there was anything else he would like clarification on, if the MLA all seemed clear, and if he felt like he knew where to go from here. He was extremely positive in his answers and thanked me twice. Yay. We quickly filled out the paperwork together and I gave him the slip to take to his professor. All good in the hood.
I’m sure he’ll be back…at least I hope he will be!
More exclamation points. I’m just so excited to start this upcoming week.
Super fun punctuation throw-down in class on Thursday. I hate to admit it, but we only chose the Commas over the Periods, because we knew we couldn’t win against Nick and his period-supporters. Nick was just owning it way too hard. In the end though, the Commas won in a spirited battle.

In the Center, Max and Maria and I did some self-solving on a question I had about Arabic numerals. It was a treasure hunt for answers and we succeeded and can now embrace our new wealth of knowledge.

Yay, Fall :)

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