RACHEL is a young widow with two preschool aged children.  She has enrolled in college for the first time five years after her graduation from high school so that she may prepare for a career that will enable her to better support her children.  This is the second semester of her freshman year as an Elementary Education major, and one of her current courses is Concepts of Biology, which she needs to fulfill a general education requirement.

TY is a Biological Sciences major in his junior year.  On the advice of his MOTHER, Ty has begun tutoring in order to earn some extra money. The first student assigned to him is Rachel.  During their initial contact by phone, Ty suggests meeting in the student union eating area for their first tutoring session together.  Although the library is more convenient for her and she thinks it might be distracting to meet in such a highly trafficked area, Rachel eventually agrees.  Ty arrives a few minutes early for the session, feeling excited and a little nervous.

Rachel arrives 10 minutes late for the 50-minute session accompanied by SHANNA, her three- year-old daughter.  Rachel apologizes for bringing Shanna along, explaining that since she had a fever and sore throat this morning the day care would not allow her to attend.  She settles Shanna in with crackers, juice, and a coloring book, then turns her attention to Ty.

Just as Ty asks Rachel what chapter she is studying this week, Shanna spills her apple juice.  Rachel leaves the table to find something to clean up the spill, leaving Ty alone with Shanna.  Just then, CHRIS, a classmate of Ty’s, happens by and begins to rib him about his “daughter.”  Ty jokes with Chris but feels frustrated with Rachel’s disorganization and insensitivity.  The two chat for a while and when Rachel returns, she is careful not to interrupt them as she cleans up the spill and places her jacket over the now sleeping Shanna.  When Chris leaves, Ty suggests to Rachel that they begin by looking at her questions about Chapter 2 of the text.  Rachel realizes that she has forgotten her notes.  Ty says to her “How can I help you if you don’t bring your notes?”  Chris passes by again on his way out of the building and calls out “See ya later, Dad.”  In frustration and embarrassment Ty suggests rescheduling the session.  Rather than committing to a time and place, Rachel responds by saying that she’ll call him later on to schedule a new session.

 *  *  *  *  *

Listed below are the characters in the story.  Rank them in order of their responsibility for the failed tutoring session.  Give a different score to each character.  Be prepared to explain your choices.

Most responsible   <–  1   2   3   4   5   6   –->  Least responsible

                                       ____Rachel, the student                ____Shanna, Rachel’s daughter    

                                       ____Ty, the tutor                            ____Chris, Ty’s classmate    

                                       ____ Shanna’s day care provider  ____Ty’s mother

— Lynell Williams, Director of Peer Tutoring, Idaho State University, ID 

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