My failure to communicate with a tutor
|I don't remember the exact details of how this event went down, but I'll try my best to give a clear picture of what happened.
It was during Spring 2019, and I decided to schedule an appointment with a writing tutor since my first paper for my English class came back with an unsatisfactory score.
At this time in the semester, I had already finished my rough draft for the second paper. Before I submitted it for critique from my professor, I wanted a second opinion, which is why I scheduled the appointment.
After my tutor pointed out some mistakes with my front page header and the structure of my thesis, we got to my first body paragraph. My tutor asked how my assertion for that paragraph related to my argument on the topic's paper. Stubbornly believing I had mastered the format, I labeled each beginning statement of my body paragraphs in their relation to my thesis as such:
"...Cats should be allowed to attend college. (1) Not only would they make excellent therapy animals, but (2) they are just as intelligent as humans (3) and should be treated as such by society.*
(1) To begin, cats have excellent potential as therapy companions for students who could benefit from this allowance.
... (2) Aside from this fact, studies prove that cats are just as capable of receiving a college education as humans not only intellectually, but emotionally and socially as well.
... (3) With the previous said, cats are mentally equal to humans and thus deserve to be treated as such by society."
I thought this was a simple enough way of explaining how my writing structure should allow my tutor to find the answer within the context. However, she didn't see what I was trying to show her for some reason. I did not want to believe that I didn't know what I was doing since that's how I've written since high school. I should understand what I'm doing if my mental development is on par with my peers'. I was too confident in my knowledge of how to format an essay to ask if I had made any mistakes, so I let myself get stuck.
Then my tutor asks this question: "Have you tried asking your professor for help?"
I turned to face her, trying my best to keep it together as the straws of hopelessness kept plopping onto my brain, chipping away at it slowly. "I've tried that," I responded, my voice shaking, "But all she says is 'Use the guidebook!'"
The tutor still needed elaboration. I showed her my conversations with the professor and elaborated how difficult scheduling office hours would be while neglecting the condition of my brain as the straws kept dropping. No matter what I said, the tutor kept pushing the same suggestions I turned down, causing the straws to fall faster. Eventually, the final straw hit and broke my brain, leaving me a sobbing mess.
I blamed myself for being a lost cause and submitted my rough draft after making the minuscule corrections given to me by the tutor. After that awful session, I believed that everyone around me thought I was incapable of accepting and applying criticism. I did not want to deal with these people, so I locked myself in my room and mumbled things like, "How are these people so shallow? This storytime animator on YouTube has been called out for responding poorly to criticism her whole life, yet everyone around me see her as the pinnacle of applying criticism. Here I am actively seeking criticism, yet nobody sees it because they want to believe that I'm irresponsible and will thus never deservingly succeed. What mixed-up world am I living in?!"
My brain was still strikingly damaged from that tutoring session, and these thoughts weren't helping. I got tired of feeling miserable and unsound, so I emailed my therapist about the situation. I worked things out with her and, as the burden lifted away, my brain was able to repair itself back to normal.
*This wasn't the actual topic of my paper.