It hit me this morning–a good reading or writing conference with a student is just like a good doctor’s appointment! I’ve recently been diagnosed with frozen shoulder (very painful, and soon I’ll be asking for help shaving my underarms if it doesn’t unfreeze–NOT FUN) so I’ve been going to medical people a lot. Right now I’m going to a really awesome accupuncturist (Chris Butler) and after one of my visits I realized, hey this is just like having a good one-on-one with a student!
First, he asks me how I’m doing. Wants to know if I’ve been doing the exercises and taking the herbs he suggested previously. (Just like a conference when we ask students how it’s going). Second, he checks me out. (Just like when we look at a student’s piece of writing or ask him/her to read or talk about a book). Third, he makes a diagnosis, depending on what I’ve told him and shown him. This week the pain has been bad, so Chris is going for a more aggressive treatment. (Just like the ‘teach’ part of a conference, when we decide what a student needs and then instruct appropriately.) Finally, the treatment is over, he reminds me to keep up with the exercises and the herbs and I’m done. (Just like when we send students off to practice what we’ve taught.)
The important part of my one-on-one with Chris is that he knows ME. He knows my situation, he asks relevant questions and he’s prepared with the right treatment for ME. He bases his treatment on the now of my condition. (Extra big needles this time–ouch!) But it worked. He sent me off with a plan for the week, and I really do feel better. Confident that this will heal and that I have a way to help myself. I can’t ask for more than that. (Unless Chris is good with a razor…)