Role Reversal: From Tutee to Tutor

Role Reversal: From Tutee to Tutor

Posted by: on April 5, 2016   |Comments (0)|Writing Center

MarlaGagneGUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18
Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m a sophomore English major and am currently living the suite-life on campus (pun intended). I am a news co-editor on The Cowl and love writing stories about what’s going on around PC. I’ve also volunteered with campus ministry and love getting involved on campus. College life can be crazy, but chicken nugget Thursdays, Friday night hockey games, and PC friends make it all worth it!

 

As my friends and I walked into Friar Ball, decked out in brand new dresses and painful yet beautiful heels, we were excited. All the upperclassmen we had talked to said the night was going to be one of best nights of our whole college career—no pressure there. Peterson was filled with hundreds of students, many of whom I had come to know in class or meeting through a club or even just saying ‘hi’ in the hallway. And while the night was a great night to spend time with my friends before they went home for the summer or traveled abroad, it also reminded me that in five weeks I was going to be halfway done with my college career.

It seems like only yesterday that I was struggling to read the RIPTA schedule, freaked out to walk around campus by myself, and always forgetting that Ray closes at 6:30 on the weekends and then being forced to walk to Alumni. In two years, I have become friends with people from all over the country (well, mostly the East Coast), joined different clubs, and explored a new city. As I got a little nostalgic and thought about my short journey at PC, I couldn’t help think of my experience at the Writing Center. Before I was a tutor helping with thesis statements and comma abuses, I was the one being tutored.

As a freshman I was intimidated by my professors and scared to write my first paper—what if these professors wanted something completely different than what I wrote in high school? Within the first month of school, I made an appointment for the Writing Center to get some help.

Going into a tutoring session can be nerve-wracking. What if my essay was terrible? What if I had a mean tutor? What if I couldn’t even find the Writing Center? I was already psyching myself out before the session started. Ali, then a junior writing tutor, ended up looking over my paper. I sat quietly as she looked everything over, not sure what to do in that awkward waiting time and internally cringing every time she made a mark. When she put her pen down, I was expecting the worst.

But the worst never came. Ali first pointed out what was great about my essay—my strong thesis and detailed examples. But we also talked about what could be improved. I needed to add a little more to my conclusion so it wasn’t just repeating my thesis. Yes, I was nervous throughout the whole session and probably didn’t take a calming breath until I left the library doors. But later I reflected on everything that happened and realized that it was really not a bad experience and was actually really helpful. I used the Writing Center for the rest of semester and had good, unique experiences with many different tutors.

Getting any critique can be difficult, especially by people you go to class with or see around campus. But lots of the tutors, like myself, were in your same exact spot. And before we were tutors, we were students. We have all been critiqued by professors or have struggled with a class or assignment. Coming into the Writing Center can be intimidating, scary, or just simply something new. But always remember that as tutors we are on your side and here to help you put the pieces together. And who knows—in time you might find your role has been reversed.

GUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18 Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m... MORE

Doing More Than Getting Through: Enjoying the PC Experience

Posted by: on November 9, 2015   |Comments (0)|Tutoring Center

MarlaGagneGUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18
Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m a sophomore English major and am currently living the suite-life on campus (pun intended). I am a news co-editor on The Cowl and love writing stories about what’s going on around PC. I’ve also volunteered with campus ministry and love getting involved on campus. College life can be crazy, but chicken nugget Thursdays, Friday night hockey games, and PC friends make it all worth it!

 

Today, like any day, I groaned when I heard my alarm go off. I might hit snooze once or twice before I decide, despite my greatest wishes, I have to actually get up for class. From there, the day seems never-ending. Getting stressed out is inevitable because there’s always a paper due, there’s always a pop quiz on the horizon, and there’s always Civ reading-seriously, Civ takes over your life. There is barely enough time to finish my homework, never mind sleep.

I think every college student has stress weeks like this. It can be hard to take a moment for yourself and regain your sanity. So how do we survive the rest of the semester? Well, I could tell you lots of tips on how to stay calm and get prepared, things like getting organized, taking breaks while studying, making to do lists, etc. (which are all very important things you should consider!).

Gagne1

Go Friars!

But, I think there’s something else we need to keep in mind beyond how busy we are.

We only have four years at PC. If you talk to any senior, they will say how lucky you are to be a freshman and how they wish they could do it all over again. It’s easy to get caught up in  everyday life. I know I am more concerned with when I can actually get some sleep than enjoying the moment. But, even though things are crazy busy, we also have to appreciate our short time here because it’s just that- short.

With fall finally here, we can finally see how pretty the campus is. The squirrels are attacking you with acorns, but the leaves are beautiful. I always look forward to chicken nugget Thursdays and a hello from Dot. And how many college students get to say that they watch the men’s national hockey champions play on the weekend?

Gagne3

Waterfire in Dowtown Providence

Some of my best PC moments are just hanging out with my friends. We’re probably doing nothing special, but having a great time doing it. It’s weird to think, but in a few years we won’t be in the same state, nevermind in the same room. So, we have to take advantage of our time to get a quick snack at LaSalle Bakery, take the zipcar for an impromptu road trip, or do a classic movie night. And don’t forget the city of Providence! Dinners at the Cheesecake are Heaven (get the chocolate cake), Waterfire is a cool night out, and who doesn’t love to go for a shopping trip at the mall?

Class itself can be difficult—homework, perfect grades, and trying to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. But, PC is full of great professors, classes that get you talking, and lots of resources (like Tutoring and Writing Centers—come visit us!).

I will be the first to agree that school is stressful. I’m definitely guilty of just trying to “get through the week.” But, as sophomore year quickly passes by, I also realize my experience is not going to last forever. Some weeks will be crazy, but try not to just “get through” every week.  PC is a great place and you don’t want to miss out on your chance to experience it!

Gagne2

 

 

GUEST BLOGGER: MARLA GAGNE, ‘ 18 Hi everyone! My name is Marla Gagne, and I’m from West Haven, Connecticut. I’m... MORE

5 Things I Wish I Knew as a Freshmen

Posted by: on September 18, 2015   |Comments (0)|Tutoring Center

JenniferGilliganGUEST BLOGGER: JENNY GILLIGAN, ’18
Hey Fellow Friars! My name is Jenny Gilligan, and I am from South Windsor, Connecticut. I am a sophomore here at Providence College, with a major in Finance and minor in Spanish. Unfortunately, being a declared major does not correlate to having any clue what career path you aspire to follow. I am a first year tutor in OAS, tutoring Economics, Calculus, and Spanish, and am very excited to learn a lot from working as a tutor! I play on PC’s first ever club lacrosse team, and also participate in campus ministry. I look forward to getting more involved in the PC community as a Sophomore, because anyone that know me will tell you, I am very proud to be a friar.

 

If your anything like I was as a freshmen, you may have been so excited for all things college, that you may have failed to acknowledge that no matter how well you adjusted to college life, it would still be just that; an adjustment. Even though I had seen my four older sisters go through the adjustment to college, there were certain things I wished they had told me. So here are a few of the most valuable lessons I learned throughout my first year at Providence College.

 

1.  Office hours are not scary

I remember being terrified that if I went to office hours I would ask all the wrong questions, or the professor would have no desire to talk to me and be totally un-helpful. This is a huge myth. If you do anything, go to office hours. At the very least your professor will be impressed that you showed up as soon as you had a problem. Trust me, initiative is rewarded.

 

2.  College is NOT the era of Netflix

Most likely, you have friends like mine that told you how much Netflix they watched their freshman year. Well this may be true, it doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, true for you. Luckily, I learned this was not my reality pretty quickly. Long hours in the Library are unavoidable, but are a lot more bearable when you know you are leaving to go hangout with your friends, or at least watch Netflix with your friends. College is going to be so much more enjoyable with a great group of friends to rely on, so shut your laptop, turn of Friends, and go make some Friends. It’s not as hard as you may think.

 

3.  Using a tutor does not make you stupid

I guarantee you at some point this year you will have a subject, or a concept, that may not come as easily to you. Luckily, you’re at Providence College and have helpful resources all around. Don’t be embarrassed to use a tutor, because chances are you’re tutor has used a tutor in the Office of Academic Services at least once. I’ve learned that there is no greater help than a student who went through that very same class and had the very same questions. If you’re downstairs in the library struggling with you’re work, do your self a favor, walk upstairs and make an appointment. You’ll thank me later!

 

4.  You may not be as busy as you think you are

Yes you have a lot of homework. But yes, you have for time for that one club you really wanted to join even though it meets twice a week, and yes, you do have time for church. Maybe the girls on your floor aren’t going to be your best friends, but that one girl you sit next to every meeting will be. You never know, so get involved! You won’t regret it! Maybe you went to church every weekend at home, or maybe you didn’t. But if it is 10 o’clock in a Sunday night, your just finished your work and you are choosing between that episode of Orange is The New Black, and going to 10:30 mass, the answer is always mass. It’s the perfect way to let go of the stress of one week, and energize for the next. Always avoid excuses!

 

5.  Call your mother

Yes, she probably will ask you when the last time you washed your sheets was, or when the last time you went to church was, but she also may have some good advice. Having a small roommate problem? Chances are, she had those in college too, and she also knows everything about you, especially your most annoying traits. Meaning, she will tell you if you’re being unrealistic and need to quickly change your ways. Or maybe you have a sore throat and are avoiding solving the problem because you don’t know where health services is; you’re mom will tell you to get down there within the next hour, and you will listen. You’re mom is your biggest supporter, and you’re toughest critic. College requires both.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GUEST BLOGGER: JENNY GILLIGAN, ’18 Hey Fellow Friars! My name is Jenny Gilligan, and I am from South Windsor, Connecticut.... MORE

You Get the Best Out of Others When You Give the Best of Yourself

Posted by: on April 21, 2015   |Comments (0)|Tutoring Center

MelissaSheilGUEST BLOGGER:  MELISSA SHEIL, ’16
Hi Friars! My name is Melissa Sheil and I am from Southwick, Massachusetts. I am a junior psychology major with a business studies certificate, and a member of the Dirigo Leadership Honor Society. I tutor DWC, philosophy and theology in OAS, and am also a member of Tutor Cabinet. I am a Protege Mentor and this past summer I worked as a Resident Assistant/Mentor in the Friar Foundations Program. I serve as a Research Assistant in Providence College’s Social Perceptions and Attitudes Lab, and am most interested in studying academic achievement. I am an Admissions Ambassador, Special Olympics Volunteer and will be volunteering on my third Habitat for Humanity trip this Spring Break! When I’m not watching PC Basketball or Hockey games, you can find me playing intramurals (and still trying to win a t-shirt)!

 

As a Head Tutor, I have had the privilege of interviewing several prospective tutors over the past few weeks. The Tutoring Center consists of a community of tutors who are engaged and excited to help their peers, so it is fitting that one of the questions that we always ask a prospective tutor is “What excites you most about possibly being hired as a tutor?”

Although responses varied, they all shared one common underlying theme: the prospective tutor was most excited about being able to serve their peers through tutoring.

Tutoring requires both the tutor and the tutee be engaged and present throughout the session in order to best serve the student. Tutors must come to the session prepared to help the student better understand the topic they are studying, while also creating an environment where the tutee feels comfortable to be able to ask for further explanation or to say that they are completely confused by the material. Simply put, tutoring requires that the tutor is dedicated to putting in the extra effort by giving the best of themselves every time they tutor in order to best help the student they are serving.

As a college student, I understand that sometimes it can be difficult to always give your all in everything you do. Whether it be because of a lack of sleep or a hectic schedule, there are always occasions where it is difficult to motivate yourself to be your best. However, Harvey S. Firestone’s quote that reads, “You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself” truly emphasizes that while you are in a role that requires you to serve another, it is necessary to put in the extra effort to show that you value those you are working with.

Whether you are a tutor, a resident assistant, a peer mentor, a teacher’s assistant, an orientation leader or just consider yourself a member of the Friar Family, chances are that you hold some role on campus that requires you to serve others. So while you are in that role, remember to give the best of yourself by showing an interest in the group you are serving, accepting the group you are serving, and being engaged and present throughout the time you are serving. As members of the Friar Family, it is our responsibility to give the best of ourselves in order to get the best out of others.

 

GUEST BLOGGER:  MELISSA SHEIL, ’16 Hi Friars! My name is Melissa Sheil and I am from Southwick, Massachusetts. I am... MORE

What it Means to be a Friar Family

Posted by: on March 2, 2015   |Comments (0)|Tutoring Center

christina-perri-blogGUEST BLOGGER: CHRISTINA PERRI
Hello Friartown! My name is Christina Perri, and I am a junior from Long Island, New York. I am a biology and psychology double major with a minor in neuroscience, and a member of the Liberal Arts Honors Program. I work in the OAS Tutoring Center primarily as a CIV tutor, and I dabble in other subjects as needed. When I’m not in class, lab, or OAS, I can be found singing with Schola Cantorum, playing the flute with Symphonic Winds, arguing with the Debate Society or writing articles for the psychology newsletter, Analyze This. Check in with me at PC Smartypants for tips and tricks for college success!

 

Forever a Friar. Friar Family. Veritas. These words permeate campus, whether through signs and flyers hanging in residence halls or from the mouths of friars and professors. But what does it mean for our school to be a family?

The answer we often hear is one that links us back to our Catholic and Dominican identity, and I absolutely believe that it plays a role. To be “catholic” is to be universal and wide-reaching, and that is exactly what the Friar Family is meant to be: an all-inclusive, all-embracing unit that encompasses each and every one of us at Providence College. But I think there has to be something more grounded than that. Where is the Friar Family in our everyday lives? Particularly, as students, where is the Friar Family in the classroom?

To be a member of the Friar Family is to recognize our common experiences. We may have different career aspirations—to be doctors, or lawyers, or professors, or accountants, or writers—but we are all here at PC for the same reason. We are all seeking knowledge. None of us know everything in our chosen fields, but we all pick up some sliver of information. And this is where the Friar Family comes in.

To be a member of the Friar Family is to work cooperatively, not competitively. In my experience at PC, my fellow students have worked to build me up, not tear me down. We exchange knowledge reciprocally, clarifying concepts for one another. Last semester I spent many a night with friends in an apartment in Mal Brown, studying biochemistry over tea and cheesy biscuits. None of us had the complete picture of metabolism on our own, but when we put our minds together we were able to create a cohesive whole. We bettered each other. As a tutor, I seek to do the same thing: to build my tutees up to a clearer understanding of the material, and to learn things along the way. I can safely say that I have begun to look at DWC in ways I never did before after helping students organize outlines for their papers. They see connections I never would have dreamt of as a freshman, and sometimes I give voice to ideas they are struggling to put into words. As I explain concepts in chemistry and biology appointments, I find myself understanding them better. When we, tutor and tutee, put our heads together, we both come out better. There is reciprocity in the tutor–tutee relationship.

Understanding, cooperativeness, and reciprocity are what characterize the Friar Family. And in the classroom, the Friar Family is what leads us to veritas.

GUEST BLOGGER: CHRISTINA PERRI Hello Friartown! My name is Christina Perri, and I am a junior from Long Island, New... MORE