Reading this article by Barron and Grimm made me very aware that I will not only be a writing tutor next year, but also a staff member as a resident writing tutor in a freshman dorm. Certainly I do not have the same responsibility to address such issues as race as do the resident assistants, but as a staff member I realize that I must no doubt keep such issues in mind as I approach my role as a staff member.
In this article I recalled a conversation I had with my friend who will be a resident assistant next year. He spoke of the simultaneous profundity and heaviness he experienced when the RA class turned to the topic of race as an important component of student experience. I recall him telling me about students who felt they couldn’t say certain things because of their race, or students who felt they couldn’t relate to others or depend on others because of their race. It was quite a moving conversation and important for me personally as a future residential staff member.
However, in terms of its direct role on my tutoring, I was unsure of its impact. The article did not provide much advice in the way of addressing or acknowledging race in terms of tutoring writing. I would be interested to hear what the authors would advise with regards to how one should approach this cultural topic: what strategies we as tutors may employ and what ideas we may keep in mind, much in the same vein as the ESL tutoring article the week before.
Bryce Bajar, Class of 2014, Stanford University.