Having someone with an outside perspective look at your work tends to force you to look at it that way too. As I was reading my essay to Stephen, I realized, wow, he probably has no idea what the context is for this piece is, and I stopped my read through to explain what was going on. Now I need to do that in print: find a subtle way to work in the who, what, where and when that are so essential to the reader’s understanding.
Stephen did a nice job critiquing my work– he helped me to see the major leaps that I made in my writing, but also stood up for the drastic past decisions I’d made when I tried to beat them down. For example, between my first and second paragraphs, I go from a strong bold intro to a soft, subtle description. Before our meeting, I’d focused mainly on using the introduction to apply my narrow narrative to a greater theme. I walked away from the meeting knowing that I’d have infuse those themes within my narrative, as well as add more material. Overall, just what I needed to hear. But I also think that I won’t know if I’m on the right track until I have my meeting with Heidi.
An interesting side note– every meeting I’ve had so far that’s been in a place where I felt comfortable has gone well. When I don’t feel comfortable in the setting, generally the meeting ends up unsuccessful. I’ll definitely apply this to writing colleague meetings in the future, and try to pick places where both my student and I will feel comfortable. The same thing goes with classes– some classrooms are more conducive to class bonding than others. For instance, I feel like our narrow, triangular room makes it hard for us to gel as a group because we’re always facing forward in two rows. Maybe sometime we could go somewhere else as a class for some hardcore class bonding?
I’ll end this blog with a guilty admission. Notice my use of dashes above? They’re in place because I’m afraid of misusing colons and semicolons. Keep me to their proper usage, would you Cheryl? I’ll look it up and then have it slide right out of my head again after a week, and probably won’t even notice I’m messing up.