Monday, April 7, 2014

Everday Thoughts from the Writing Center: Smooth Sailing

Since I’ve been working in the Writing Center this past year, a lot of people have asked me questions, like

“What’s it like to be a tutor?”

“Are you like a part-time teacher there?” 


“Do you take classes, too?” 

These are all great questions, but most of the time, I think maybe people are expecting something totally different than what they find. I’ve even had a few surprised reactions when people realize I’m a student too, and we may even be taking some of the same classes. A few have told me, “You don’t look like an English tutor!” Well, I’m not sure what the stereotypical tutor is thought to look like, but I can assure you that everyone in the Writing Center here at RSU is just as fresh and original as the students we help. I think there’s a myth out there that just because tutoring is an academic service, it should be stuffy and boring, or that sessions should be held in hushed tones among stacks of musty library books. We’re here to break that myth and let you know that getting help from the Writing Center can be a very customizable, refreshing, and— yes, even fun, experience!

One of the main reasons I took this job was to become a better communicator and help others feel more confident and excited about their writing. Though it may not be everyone’s favorite thing, writing can be an adventure, and I’ve come to realize that my favorite part of the job is helping people find their own style of adventuring. I’m by no means an omniscient figurehead of Almighty English, but I do know my stuff and I’m committed to helping you figure out how to be the best that you can be. I look at each tutoring session as embarking on a quest with the student, serving as a friendly first mate and letting them remain the captain of their own ship. I can provide a course map for you or find helpful resources, such as the many books or online sources we have at our disposal, but ultimately, you are in charge of your own ship (and by ship, I mean paper, of course). The most important thing to remember is that every student has a unique style in writing, learning, and communicating. Being flexible and confident in my own abilities, even in the face of a difficult task, allows me to help others overcome their challenges and hopefully, we both learn something new along the way.

Because we have so many different options in the tutoring lab, from on-site sessions to Skype calls, we can readily tailor the tutoring experience to fit your needs and writing style. I love that about this Center, because it goes to show that we are doing our best to accommodate individuality. As anyone who knows me can attest to, I’m all about being an individual and celebrating what works for you! So the next time an assignment looks like a storm on the horizon, remember that we are here to help you find your course and ensure that your writing process will be smooth sailing. 


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