News & Notes from the Reading/Writing Center

A Peer Tutor’s Perspective

It’s a Friendly Place… I Promise!

(by sophomore peer tutor Rukmini Girish)

So the big news for me this week is that I completed my first tutoring sessions. I’m a tutor at the Reading/Writing Center (2nd floor of the Tredway Library for those of you who don’t know where it is), and I tutored two amazing students on Tuesday. For obvious confidentiality reasons, I’m not going to talk about the actual sessions, but I am going to try and persuade you that the RWC isn’t a mean, scary place.

Going to any sort of “tutoring” center automatically has a stigma attached to it. If you have to be tutored, you’re not doing well enough, there’s something wrong with you. Not true at all! The RWC is a place for everyone. You can come in to brainstorm ideas about a paper, go over a first draft if you’re having trouble organizing, even just talk about time management with a tutor. You can come in for five minutes with a specific question, or you can come in for half an hour (the usual length of a session) to talk about an entire assignment.

What’s great about the RWC, in my opinion, is that most tutors are students just like you. We’ve all felt overwhelmed or unsure or angry with a grade or frustrated that a paper just isn’t flowing. And we’re not experts. If you come in and ask me how to cite a specific issue of a magazine in the Chicago style, the odds are that I won’t know the answer off the top of my head. But I can direct you to resources, like the Purdue OWL and various books on citation that we have in the RWC and we can figure out the answer together. I guarantee that in a tutoring session, the tutor learns almost as much as you do. And if we still can’t figure out the answer, we’ll go and ask one of the faculty tutors and figure it out with them.

We learn best when we talk, after all. As a first-year, especially, you don’t have to be perfect. You’re still adjusting to life away from home while trying to handle a workload that’s much larger than the one you were used to in high school. That’s tough, I’ve done it. But at the RWC, we’re here to help, so come pay us a visit!


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