cgefre's picture

Here When Words Get Rough

Last year, I was approached by Dr. Islam, the chair of our English department with an opportunity to help out at our Academic Support Center (ASC) as a writing tutor. At the time, I was a student in her Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop, stressing out somewhat over the lengthy draft of the short story I owed her, extremely honored that she thought I would be a good fit. Before that point, I never really thought that I had made a very strong impression on the English department as a whole; most of my writing classes had been with the journalism department, and I was only in my very first upper division English course at the time I was asked about tutoring. That a professor as great as Dr. Islam saw potential in me to help others sold me very quickly on the idea, and I'm pleased to finally have the chance to begin working at the ASC this year.

For those of you not following that handy link at the top of this post (and you really should, since you'll get to see my handsome face right in the middle of the page), the ASC is a rather helpful little place on the top floor of KAIC where students of any subject or skill level can seek the assistance of a student tutor for help in their fields. While many of the tutors on the staff are part of the Writing Center, there are also tutors who specialize in foreign languages, natural sciences and even accounting and business. We're a very versatile bunch, made up of some of the strongest academic students at the college who all have a real enthusiasm for their subjects of expertise. Our goal isn't to do the homework of the students who visit, but to help guide them along the way, offering suggestions, study tips, and tools for self-sufficient learning. Not bad, huh?

I'm a bit surprised so few students seem to know about the ASC. I didn't know the place existed until winter term of my freshman year, and that was only because I could have gotten extra credit in my history class for making an appoitment with a tutor there. I figured a blog post here would be a decent way of getting the word out, although we're definitely getting started on advertising within the coming weeks. With our doors officially opening this Monday, it would be a shame to sit around the office and twiddle our thumbs when there could be some freshmen out there that could use help developing a thesis statement or understanding whatever it is Charles Dickens might be saying.

Perhaps someone reading this will come visit me during my hours? I'll be there on Tuesdays from 2:35 PM - 3:35 PM, and on Thursdays from 2:40 PM - 4:00 PM-ish, ready to help! I may be new to this tutoring thing, but I'm excited to make a difference and further develop my own writing skills through the act of teaching. (I'll try not to get you sick, too--it seems I've finally come down with the cold that's been traveling around campus. I'll bring hand sanitizer for you!)

-Clayton Gefre

Clayton is a junior creative writing major from Meridian, Idaho.