Tears balanced on the edges of Annie’s eyes as she faced me in supervision. Her Advanced Diploma research essay had not been finished and the submission date was a cat’s whisker away. As her course tutor, I had mixed feelings about her predicament. ‘But who am I supposed to be writing this for?’ she challenged me. I was sure this question was not rhetorical, and unsure about whether Annie had a view of how I should answer. It was more of an accusation than an invitation to rational discourse. But she had distress on her side and I needed to be careful.