Sometimes conferences with students are so short because they just need permission. They come to you with an “objective” fact-based paper for a narrative assignment, and sometimes they just need to hear you ask, “Why did you chose this topic?” so that when they answer with a story about a personal experience, you can ask, “I’m wondering why you didn’t write about that experience?”

When you ask them to sit what they’ve written aside for a moment and then write about that experience, they answer “That’s what I needed to hear.”

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