Apr. 11th, 2007 10:06 pm
dreadpirateange: (Default)
[personal profile] dreadpirateange
One of my friends is a nontraditional student, so he's just now getting back into higher education. He's been having low Bs/Cs on his marked history essays, with the same sorts of comments on each of them telling him what is wrong, but not telling him how to improve.

Mostly because I do want to help him, but also selfishly because I want to see if I am actually capable of helping him, I volunteered to give him a tutorial about how to tackle the weak points in his essays and improve his score. I went through all of his old papers, took a note of the professor's comments, and drafted a plan of his weak spots and what he could do to overcome them.

He sent me the rough draft of his latest essay today, and I'm excited, because it's far better than anything that I have read of his so far. There are still parts that need a lot of work, but the overall picture is so much clearer. It helps that he's got a good historian's instinct, but he did almost everything right... he chose the correct evidence to use, pitted historians from different camps against one another to find the truth, found enough primary source material to back up his own claims, and structured it quite well.

He was the one who wrote the essay, but I'm the one who got a little dose of pride. It also gives me hope-- yes, he's a model pupil who wanted to learn, and was willing to do all the work I asked of him, but if I'm capable of teaching something so that someone smart but not professional can understand it, then my future students need not fear.


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