I have finally been able to access my blog without it crashing on me, so here’s a bit about my experience with my tutees (?)
A week or so ago, I worked with Rich to do an in class discussion of Amiri Baraka’s “Expressive Language.” I prepared several discussion questions to ask the students about the reading– or at least to guide the discussion in one way or another. Although I was meant to lead the discussion, Rich and I bounced off each other with ideas and discussion. The students, however, were not extremely responsive. They didn’t seem to have read the 4 page paper, and so the discussion was more of us talking at them. It was like pulling teeth. The few students that did add to the discussion, they had good and well thought input. Some students mirrored the more shallow interpretation of the text– most likely only having read the essay once.
As for tutoring sessions and how that is going, I have had one successful tutoring session. We talked about it in class, but I will go over it in brief here.
Adam and Michael came to my tutoring session (I found out later that evening that Michael was asked to go, and Adam asked if he, too, could come get writing help). Michael was the first person I met with for tutoring. The paper was discussing racial stereotypes in the media, as well as the idea of technology terrorism. Michael’s paper was well written and was structured well. He had great analysis and brought in good out-of-text examples to his argument. For example, the paper discussed Princess Hijab, a well known graffiti artist, and Michael incorporated Banksy and discussed his contributions to society. I asked him why he added this outside information, and he told me that he was fascinated by street art. I was really encouraged by this because it meant that he was truly interested in what he was writing. Although his paper was well written, we went over transitions and other ways that he could continue his discussion in his paper. He stated in the beginning of our appointment that he was a bad writer, which was quite the contrary. But at the end of the appointment he said that I was helpful, so wooo.