Recent Tutoring Session Reviews
"World History: review of Persia, Aryans, Sumerians, Greece, Rome. Spanish: review of numbers, dates, basic questions, physical and personal characteristics."
"The student continued to work on his DBQ (document-based question) essay on Classical Athens vs. Han China. He got through most of it and will finish this up on his own."
"The student and I discussed her recent writing assignment on the history of the cinnamon trade. She felt confident in both her writing and the group presentation she was part of in class. We then discussed her next assignment, which deals with critically assessing three works by professional historians. She expressed difficulty in comparing opinions and analysis; she's used to thinking that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. To introduce her to the art of criticism I asked her to read two reviews of a book by historian Eric Foner, one from the New York Times that heaped praise, and one from an Oxford historian that offered more disagreement. I wanted to help her see the difference between free and equal speech. Just because one shouldn't face harassment for their opinion or belief doesn't mean that all beliefs or opinions are flawless. I tried to stress that this true, perhaps even especially true, when dealing with academics. She seemed to come away with a good understanding and expressed some readiness to tackle the writing. For the last third of the session, I worked with her on assessing a piece of writing she had composed around a month ago. I wanted to help her develop the idea that writing is a multi-step process where drafts are frequently rethought. I had her read over the paper and tell me a couple of things she thought she could now express in a better, more effective way."