I immediately connected with this article because I understand the feeling of not wanting to do something that I am not sure I will succeed at. Levine states, “Individuals somehow, somewhere lose momentum; in the pursuit of accomplishment they fail to produce; they stall out.” After reading this, I noticed that this holds true for me every day when I am in the library doing my homework. When I am deciding the order to do my work in, the most important work does not necessarily get done first. I find that even if I have a paper due tomorrow, I will start my work by doing some assigned reading, because I know that I am capable of reading, but do not always know if my paper will be hard to write or what grade the final product will receive.
I noticed that a main problem with individuals who have output failure is that they can learn, understand, and retain a lot of information, but cannot express it effectively. I also noticed that the lack of success a student is able to produce discourages them, and in turn they do not even want to attempt to do the task anymore. Levine describes this snowballing effect as “chronic success deprivation,” and I can definitely see how it affects students. What I understand from this article is that a little bit of success can motivate a student to keep trying on a subject, rather than give it up because they are discouraged. As a tutor, I think it is important to have our students achieve something while working on their papers, no matter how small the achievement, because each small step will lead to something greater.