Thursday, January 11, 2007

On Possession of My Gift

So, I’m taking a class this semester called “Issues and Methods in Writing Consultancy”. Sounds serious, huh? It’s actually a class to help me develop my tutoring skills in order to intern in a new writing center that the university is establishing. Key students were invited to participate in this inaugural program, and I was one of them. I never thought much about tutoring. Most people just want you to correct grammatical errors, or even sometimes they want you to tell them what to write. But, I thought hey, not only will it create an opportunity to earn credit hours towards my degree and a stipend, it will also look good on my application for graduate school, and perhaps I could snatch one of those teaching assistantships at Georgia State. But, when in class the professor wanted us to openly talk about our own writing process, I felt myself begin to withdraw, wondering if I’d made a mistake.

It was like being asked to strip down to my underwear, and I was wholly unprepared for how awkward and potentially exposed I felt. That was when I realized just how personal, how internal my writing process is. Who knew? First, I’ve never truly committed to a process. Writing, I thought, is just something I do. And, when I talk about it, I chose who to talk about it with. While everyone else in the class was eager to tell what seemed like a lot about themselves and their writing, I've never wanted to gather a crowd of people and entertain them with what amounts to my private sphere.

I felt myself at a crossroads. But, somehow deciding to let my guard down in order to develop the skill of tutoring, and perhaps help others cultivate their own writing processes, I feel that I have already shattered some barriers in my own writing.

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