First Contact: My tutor, Alex

I received my first critiqued assignments back today! My tutor, Alex Gazzola, seems to like the direction I’m going in. He made two corrections, one on each assignment, and gave me compliments on my ability and style. There was nearly an audible sigh of relief when I read his words.

You know me — I’m nosey. Despite the inclusion of a biography on Mr. Gazzola, I found myself plugging his name into Google this evening. He has a neat and clean site, (though it’s designed with tables, which make me cringe in most cases), and the information provided is succinct but still provides a pretty clear picture of his personality. I think I like him. I don’t need to, but it’s lovely that I have a tutor that I feel some common thread with. Different but not too different. Ultimately I believe this vague alignment can only help to bring out the best in my writing.

I wrote him a letter in response to my first assignment. (I’ll likely mail it in with my next assignment.) I brought up the two corrections and offered insight as to why each usage was the way it was. As I sat analysing the critiques I believe he was on the right track with the first mark but not harsh enough. In order to really avoid the weakness I created in the paragraph, I need to reword more than the hiccup he pointed out. This initial leniency is expected as per the course information in the early assignments, but will likely become increasingly more critical as I get more words under my belt. Whip me, beat me — make me write bad great words!

The second mark-up involved what I attribute to a American-English v British-English word choice difference. He suggested an alternate variation on the same word and I agree with him. I did offer an explanation to clarify that in spoken American-English the pronunciation of the word in question would not adhere to it’s spelling precisely, but would take on a different verbal character. I’ve told Alex that this is something I’m attempting to become more keenly aware of as I’ll likely be submitting work to both sides of the Atlantic. I need to bow to ultimate clarity in my word choices. Funny how I can understand so much about my work from just an underlined word and alternative choice handwritten above it with a question mark.

I’ve assured him that the analysis of my corrections is not my attempt to be difficult, but rather to satisfy my stickler nature for understanding my weaknesses. I made clear my desire to improve through his guidance and how pleased I am that he likes my work.

Overall I am silly with excitement since I retrieved today’s post. Not only did I get my first assignment back (with very favourable marks) but I also received three new books from Amazon! Whoo-hoo! Two of them are writing related and one is a more frivolous indulgence.

Now, it’s back to hitting my lesson books. I’m reading and learning and loving every bit of it. Thank you Alex Gazzola. I hope you like my next submission just as much or more.

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~ by Jen on Thursday, 22 December 2005 - 9:39pm.

4 Responses to “First Contact: My tutor, Alex”

  1. You and I have problems with authority.


  2. Whoo-hoo! You’re number 1 John! Thanks for breaking the comment ice on this blog!

    Authority? Bah! Says who…

  3. Such arrogance!
    Why you…

    *Gabriel intervenes, reminding God of his ability to grant clemency during the holiday seasons*

    ….Why, I sentence you to a life writing CSS and English weather.

    *Gabriel tells God how gracious he is*



  4. Hi jEN,

    I am interested by the correction of the ‘spoken American-English’.

    Are you saying the in future you would tailor the word used to the each specific audience? Apologies if I have got this wrong.


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