I recently began working at the Writing Center on campus. I'm an intern right now, and I'll start actually tutoring people in the fall. So far, my time at the Writing Center has been interesting.
I found out about working at the Writing Center from Jordan Lee. She was one of Kelly's roommates when they were freshmen, and she's been a good friend since then. In fact, she's been a really great friend! We stayed at her house for a few days when I was about to start my freshman year, and she actually introduced me to Jake, who I dated for about six months before his mission. She worked in the Writing Center and inspired me to apply to work there, too.
Jordan is just about the nicest person you will ever meet. She is so sweet and thoughtful, and also hilarious. I laugh so hard whenever we hang out, even though it isn't as often as I would like! When I applied for the Writing Center, I imagined myself working with a room full of Jordans. They would all welcome me lovingly, and under their care and tutelage, I would become a very successful tutor. We would laugh and bond.
From what I've seen so far, Jordan was just Jordan, and her behavior and personality cannot be used to predict the behavior or personalities of the other tutors. They are all very unique.
Brandon is the first tutor I met. He and Emily interviewed me before I was offered a job there. I was nervous and it seemed like Emily didn't like smiling very much, so I kind of looked at Brandon the whole time. He is married and here is how he described his relationship with his wife: "I can't really remember what I did this weekend. You know why? I just, I was with my wife. We just have so much fun together all the time, we just have fun. So it all kinda blurs together. I can't remember what I did this weekend.....I was hanging out with her. We....I don't know. It was fun." He is very nice and always asks me how my weekend was.
My first day as an intern, I sat at a table separate from the real tutors, mainly because they were involved in a heated argument about determinism, liberal ideals, and therapists. I was both intimidated and uninterested, so I just stayed at the table where Brandon had just finished a tutorial that I observed.
On my second day, I came in, put my bags in the closet in the back room, and then sat down at the table I had been sitting in on my first day. Kylie, one of the newer tutors, turned to me and said, "Hi Heather. How was your weekend?" I replied, "Hi Kylie. It was good! How was yours?" "Lovely," she said.
What a pleasant place this is! I thought to myself. How lucky I am to work with such friendly people. You can imagine my surprise when, immediately after this exchange, I heard an angry voice addressing me from across the table: "Why are you sitting there? It makes me feel awkward."
I looked across the table where a girl with orange hair was glaring indignantly at me, as if I had personally affronted her by my seat of choice. I was confused and alarmed and didn't really know what to do.
"You can sit by me," Kylie offered. I smiled nervously, picked up my things, and sat at the table with the tutors. The girl with orange hair continued scowling at me. A little flustered, I dropped my eyes and tried to concentrate on the Sudoku puzzles in the newspaper.
The other tutors introduced themselves, or were introduced by their nicer colleagues. Chloe was the name of the girl who I somehow had seemingly offended beyond repair.
This is the conversation that followed:
me: *sitting quietly reading my assignment for the next class*
*no one responds because she is crazy. I continue reading.*
me: *looking up*
Chloe : I'm going to call you Canada from now on.
me: *confused* I'm from Maryland.....?
Chloe: I know you're from Maryland.
Chloe: your name is Canada, deal with it.
me: *alarmed and questioning my new career*
Just to clarify, I am going to list some reasons
Why "Canada" is not a good nickname for me:
1. I am American. I like America. In fact, I love it! I wrote two blog posts about it earlier this month, in case you feel the need to look for verification of this.
2. I am from Maryland. I'm not from Canada. I don't have like, any Canadian in me. If we want to give out nicknames based on ethnicity or heritage, then Europe would probably be more appropriate for me, even though I don't really want to be called that either.
3. You can only really give nicknames to your friends. There has to be some sort of inside joke that the two of you share, or something that prompts the nickname. In this case, there was no foundation of a friendship or inside jokes.
Despite all this, every time I work at the Writing Center, I feel more comfortable there. I am getting to know more of the tutors and most of them are very nice.
One thing I don't like about the Writing Center is that the conversation is largely cynical and sometimes, downright hateful. This happens because the people who work there like to be philosophical, and they also like to be right. They like talking about politics, why they are not married, and "stupid people." I don't think that being a tutor is the best choice for everyone, because apparently it makes some people believe that they are better than
most people everyone.
All in all, I'm glad to be at the Writing Center. I already feel like I've learned a lot, and once I get started tutoring, I think I will get better at it, and it will be very enjoyable.
Everyone in Utah should come in and visit me :)