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BUT two weeks later, Billy comes into the writing center, angry, because he has gotten a B. He thought you could help him. He needed to get an A! He came to YOU for help, so it MUST be YOUR FAULT. He argues that it’s your job to go tell his professor that he came to the writing center, it’s your fault the paper wasn’t good enough, and that he should get an A.
Eesh. Billy doesn’t seem like he’s a very pleasant person.
You resolve the issue, but it bugs you for the rest of the day. You go home, tail tucked between your legs, and wonder all night long: what if it was your fault?
“We occasionally we feel like we can or should do more, but sometimes we can’t,” one of our tutors, Isabella, says despondently. “It’s upsetting sometimes, especially when it comes down to the wire, that we can’t do much. I want to help, but sometimes, I just can’t.”
Tutors are just like other students. We stress out, have homework, need to sleep, eat, and binge watch House, M.D. on Netflix. Even right now, as I’m typing this, I’m stress-eating cheesy bread procured during the lunch rush at the Student Union Building.
And just like other college students, sometimes tutors make mistakes.
“Students need to take our advice to a certain degree,” states Julio, a graduate student and tutor here at the University Writing Center. “They know their professor better than we do. If we give them advice that counters what their professor said, they need to say so.”
But any tutor will agree that they do their best to get their clients the grades that their hard work deserves.
“The struggle is always worth it when your clients come in, proud of the grade they received,” says Julio. “And they come back, and they ask for you, because they know, more often than not, coming in for help really works.”
All we can really hope for, as tutors, is that we grow and learn as students and people alongside our clients. Not only do we help them, but they really help us, too!
Thanks to our tutors for reminding us they aren’t perfect! Mark (Above), Bekah (Middle Right), and Julio (Bottom Left).