By William Rodriguez, Staff Writer
The Writing Center, located in the Franklin Academic Success Center, at the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) is home to many tutors, such as UMF senior Margaret Pearson.
Pearson, who most know as Maggie, has worked for the Writing Center since her first semester as a sophomore at UMF and she loves it there. “I get to see many types of writing here. I like working with younger students, like freshmen and sophomores, I like seeing how they write,” said Pearson. She really enjoys reading papers brought in from students in subjects she never took saying that it allows her to experience the varying subjects UMF offers.
Tutors in the writing center have the opportunity to help students better craft their papers. “Interacting with students and coworkers, mostly students, is the best part,” said Pearson, “especially when you help them out. I help others as a tutor and sharpen my skills as a writer myself.” For Pearson, helping students really reflects the greatest advantage to being a tutor.
Pearson’s best tutoring moment came last year with a student she tutored almost once every week. “I went to his symposium presentation and he came up and gave me a hug after, saying thank you for all the help,” said Pearson, “I was almost in tears. It was my best experience and the best reward.”
Teresa Swartz Roberts, Coordinator of Writing Support Services and Director of the Writing Center, thinks that Pearson is a very good tutor. “Her style is laid back. Clients come in panicked about a paper, sit down with Maggie, then leave relieved and with a smile,” said Roberts. Tutors ask questions of the students who come into the Writing Center and Roberts believes that Person knows just what to ask. “She asks the right questions and that is a lot of what we do. She is good at that,” said Roberts.
The Writing Center sends out a survey thanking students for visiting and asking them questions. Roberts says that the last section, asking about improvements for the center, is usually reserved for tutor comments. She said she receives comments about Pearson’s tutoring “all the time” and that the only negative comment received said that Pearson was “too nice.”
The Writing Center offers help to students from all subjects, not just English. “We are not experts on the subjects but we make sure papers sound clear and we can help with formatting, like citations,” said Roberts. The tutors are all students, “Everything we do is students helping students,” said Roberts.
This year the number of tutors is at an all time high with 15 total tutors. This increase was brought on by a very busy last fall. “We don’t like having people wait if we can help it,” said Roberts, “so we always try to have someone available to help.”
If students are looking for a tutor they can just walk into the Writing Center, email, or call (207-778-7187) and schedule an appointment. “A few people come here every week,” said Roberts, “if you make it part of your schedule it is easy to get work done.” If you are reluctant to get a tutor don’t be, “It’s awesome, do it! We not only correct but you learn stuff here. Everyone’s so helpful and friendly, we help any level of writer,” said Pearson.
For students who are interested in experiencing Pearson’s tutoring first hand, you better act fast. She is a senior Rehabilitation Services major who will be graduating in May. This is her last semester of classes and she hopes to do an internship in “crisis work” during the spring semester. For the future, Pearson plans to “move out of New England and adventure a bit.” She hopes to land a career in Crisis Work and Trauma Counseling and eventually attend graduate school.