I have worked as a writing tutor for the last two years. I’ve read and revised papers from literally every department in the University of Winnipeg. I’ve worked with grad students, graduating top-level science students who have to write their first essay for a course they took to get their humanities credit after procrastinating on that until their last year, and foreigner geniuses from other countries who just haven’t grown up immersed in English. I’ve also worked with individuals who years ago would have been the test subjects when psychologists tried to define lower-level intelligence into lexical categories: moron, imbecile, idiot, and so forth.
This has come to an end. I received a a paper by e-mail today to look at and leave some notes on. That was the last paper I had on the tutoring docket. I may never have another student in the tutoring environment again. Perhaps I will, but certainly, this will be the last time I’ll have scheduled hours as a tutor at the University of Winnipeg.
I’d like to thank the person who sent me this last paper. It was fantastic. With just the same probability I could have got someone’s ideologically-fueled, poorly thought-out/written, citationless opinion piece about some contentious social issue, but no. Although the topic of the paper was, I guess, contentious—(male-to-female genital reconstruction surgery / neovaginaplasty), this paper was done right. I learned that in 1958 Archeologists discovered that cross-dressing was practiced as far back as the 4th century when they discovered the remains of a cross-dressing, castrated/eunuch priest in Rome. I also now know that 10% of male-to-female genital reconstruction patients report post-op vaginal shrinkage; however, the other 90% report being pleased with the look of their new vaginas, 80% happy with the depth and 70% report being able to achieve clitoral orgasm. Hooray!
These are the important facts in life. Why are these statistics not coming up in everyday conversation? I’m going to miss tutoring—at least the constant academic reading to keep my brain warm, the cute EAL (English as an Additional Language) students, and the times that I was receiving monetary pay for learning obscure tidbits of information, both useful and blissfully useless. I won’t so much miss the times like when a student told me she was offended by me informing her that she was plagiarizing, me responding by suggesting that she shouldn’t be offended by objective facts that are expressed in her best interest, then finally after a long/awkward silence, putting the kibosh on that relationship.
Tutoring-as-a-job has been both informative and deplorative; meticulous and ridiculous.
I’ll end this abruptly. Goodbye.