Tutorial TodayPosted: October 17, 2011
So, last night was rough. I was exhausted from 8 pm on, and by “on” I mean until I went to sleep. At 5:15 am. Until 7 am. During that time got distracted, frustrated with that distraction, more tired, over-caffeinated but still tired, cranky, despairing about my whole year in England, falsely optimistic for about 3 minutes, then back to super depressed, angry at all philosophy, upset about my writing abilities…
…so your typical night of writing a paper. But it really was worse last night than most nights. I think it was a combination of discouragement from my…ahem…chilly response at my last tutorial and just general adjustment-shock still going on, but it was a really tough night. Twice I went to bed, but couldn’t go to sleep because my brain was spinning about how I was so upset about how poorly things seemed to be going, and got up and tried to work some more.
I’m so thankful for Rachel and Megan who spoke truth to me over skype conversations throughout the night and tried to keep me with at least some semblance of perspective on the whole thing. But I was a mess.
So I got up at 7 am and biked to college and rewrote and edited the essay straight through until noon. Unfortunately I couldn’t remember if my tutorial was at 1 or 1.30 and my tutor hadn’t emailed me back to answer that question. So at one o’clock, with essay in hand, having had an hour and a half of sleep and being in a pretty unhopeful mood, I walk into his office.
…and he cheerfully says, “did you get my email? you know tutorial was supposed to be at 12:30, right?” BAH. That’s the number one thing they tell you: Don’t miss or be late for tutorial. No matter what. He didn’t seem upset at all and just said, “well, you’ll know for next time,” but this didn’t help my expectations for how this was going to go down.
So I hand him a copy of my essay and begin to read it out loud. Even though I read it through out loud when I was editing it, I found typos as I was reading, and generally had the feeling that this wasn’t going to go well. So I finished the essay [which, by the way, it’s an intense experience to read straight through a 7 page (double spaced) essay out loud to your tutor. Makes you real accountable for every word you write. and also makes you want to write in shorter sentences.]
and there was this awful moment of sitting there as he finished writing whatever note he was making before he said anything. And all the misery from the last 18 hours was just kind of sitting there…
…and in the first 15 seconds, my tutor said more affirming things than the other tutor had in the whole hour. He started off, a bit absent-mindedly, “Good, good! ….yes, good.” I cannot tell you how much of a relief that was to hear. I kind of felt like crying. The other tutor said no such thing at any point in the other tutorial
And from that start, we had such a good tutorial. I showed how much I had learned, I was able to ask questions and learn more in the tutorial, he asked me some questions that checked how well I knew things, but other questions that just helped me think in new ways, and I got tea. Oh man. I had kind of been worried that my academic abilities were broken, but, no, I do love to learn and talk about ideas. And now that I am reminded of that, I feel encouraged to go back into my other tutorial with renewed vigor and confidence.
I am so glad it went well. I can’t even tell you. Even though I just tried.