Tutoring services offer upbeat learning environment during Midterm Madness

By Monica Montano

Bea Gretzinger utilizes services promoted for Midterm Madness in March.

Photo by Monica Montano
Bea Gretzinger works on a paper in the Writing Pad in March.

The tutoring labs on campus collectively held Midterm Madness, March 10 and 11, to promote the services they offer to students.

“For two days, we have snacks and a ballot box where students who visit any of the labs can fill out a slip for a chance to win a t-shirt or a gas card,” Kathy Hopper, developmental math lab specialist, said.

Multiple students won t-shirts at a raffle held in the Student Union March 12. Kenneth Kromenaker won the $100 gas card after a tie-breaker between himself and Kimi Schimmelpfenning.

Besides the raffle and prizes, Midterm Madness also gave students an opportunity to learn about and experience services the tutoring labs have to offer.

“A lot of people don’t know [the labs] exist. Just the fact that they can have a quiet place to study and to come and ask questions is helpful,” Megan Stevens, a sophomore math, economics, and chemistry tutor, said.

“The food always helps, because people see food and they’re like ‘Oh I can munch on something while I’m working’.”

Students who make the most use of the labs understand how valuable they are in helping improve grades throughout the semester.

“It’s really easy to get stuck on a math problem, and just give up. But here, Kathy [Hopper], and the other tutors make everything a lot easier,” sophomore Tracy Blaser, said.

There are tutors in every lab to assist students with their work.

“If you’re expecting us to make your paper perfect for you, then you’ll get zero on helpfulness. If you’re expecting us to kind of just look at it with you and see how we can make it better and help you, then you’ll get the ten on helpfulness from us,” Luke School, a sophomore tutor in the Writing Lab, said.

The tutors are there not only for the students, but also for themselves.

“My favorite thing about the labs is the one-on-one. I’m very much a one-on-one learner and I like teaching that way too,” Stevens said.

“I appreciate the study atmosphere, that it’s quiet and how it allows you to concentrate,” Rebecca Krause, a freshman tutor in the Learning Resource Center, said.

“The labs are always open and available for students on campus who just want a place to study or want extra assistance for classes,” Christina Cavaco, Writing Lab director, said.

Midterm Madness was an opportunity for students to get that one-on-one time with teachers and tutors, and to relieve the stress that comes along with midterms.

“[Students] can come in for whatever reason. Whether it’s to have popcorn, or snacks, or to see the rabbit, or have a chance to win the gas card. All of that heightens [students’] level of comfort in these rooms,” Cavaco said.

“Midterms are a really stressful time for anybody, so I think any help you can get is good,” Krause said.

Midterm Madness is held every spring semester.

“I think the timing of [Midterm Madness], we’re hoping it’s serves as a reminder to people that help is out there. Sometimes people just need something to jog their memory of what’s available,” Hopper said.

As students use the labs more frequently, they also become more comfortable with using these services.

“It’s kind of like a little family. I’ve gotten close to the tutors, and Kathy. I just feel weird if I don’t come here,” Blaser said.

“When they come in and [students] are really struggling, and they come in consistently, and start working with a tutor, they develop that relationship and they learn from that person,” Stevens said.

The overall goal of Midterm Madness, and the tutoring labs, is to help the students.

“The hope is to raise awareness of the labs and for people to realize that going into the labs is not a bad thing or a scary thing,” Hopper said.