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Prepping for a Conference

  This weekend, I will be speaking at the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing. This will be the first conference I have ever presented at, although I did attend the Organization of American Historian’s gig when it visited Milwaukee last year. To be perfectly honest, this all kinds of exhilarating and terrifying. Public speaking isn’t a very big fear of mine – if it was, then it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to be putting so much effort in a potential career which consisted of 98% public speaking. The remaining 2% is dedicated to ironing.

  Anyway, I don’t have much for you this week, what with the whole Conference thing on the horizon. If you’re a tutor and happen to register in time, stop on by! I will more than likely not embarrass myself! And if I do, well, it’ll be a great story that I’ll be unable to live down! If you can’t make it, why don’t you watch You Know It and pretend I’m in the same room as you are so you can achieve a very similar (and possibly more amusing) effect?

“Long-Term Relationships with Tutees: Should We See Other People?”
Presented by Jonathan Bruce

NCPTW Conference
Saturday, November 3rd
10:00 A.M.


Long-term relationships in the Writing Center present unique challenges and opportunities for both the tutor and the writer. This presentation will address the inherent pitfalls and benefits which present themselves in an enduring tutor/tutee relationship from the nontraditional perspective of a history TA and tutor.


Many writers cycle in and out of our doors, ideally leaving happily after sixty too-short minutes. Others, however, will return as often as possible over the course of weeks, months, or even semesters to examine their labors, scrutinizing sentence flow and structure, and making sure their arguments are just right. The tutor, their guide, must be prepared to adapt approaches and change their long-standing methods of analysis for the best possible session each time.

My paper will discuss working with long-term projects within the center through the lens of my own on- and offline work with several graduate students. Using some digital aids, I will further address and explain the advantages and pitfalls when work ing with long-term tutees. Finally, I will reflect on how these sessions developed my sense of self in tutoring, personal relationships, and my job as a history department teaching assistant. The goal is not to preach about the advantages of one technique over the other, but to illuminate the inherent benefits in working on large-scale projects with writers.

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