Peer Tutor Alumni Project: Atima

Atima A.

WCC Peer Tutor

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Who would want to leave an environment that is full of laughter, compassion, joy, and occasional sassy remarks? Working at Wallace Community College, under Dr. Randie Sessler’s supervision, has been an experience I will never forget. My co-workers have become an entirely new family I never knew I wanted. The love and support from everyone is out of this world. I am truly grateful for Randie taking me under his wing to teach and mold me into a better writer and human being, and he did so while protecting all of us from any form of danger as if we were his little ducklings. 

As a peer tutor, we are to guide students and help them realize their full potential. We model analysis and open closed-minds to see literature - and all forms of writing - in a whole new light. For example, thanks to the training that I have received, I am able to explain to students that Marge Piercy's poem "Barbie Doll" projects how much stress women get put under in order to be considered “pretty.” In one session, a student reexamined this complex poem and saw that  Piercy was talking about how everyone goes through an awkward puberty stage and we shouldn't be considered ugly because we're growing into our bodies. Likewise, we shouldn't accept the fact that the only way to be considered pretty is by injecting and cutting off pieces of ourselves to fit society's quota. The student saw that the poem is not just about a plastic doll, but real women’s lives. Over my time in the center, I have gained the ability to open students minds even wider and inspire deeper conversations about a variety of complicated issues. I feel as though I am able to transport them into a different realm of reality that they never knew existed, and that brings me so much joy. 

There are many things that I have learned in The Writing Center, but the one thing that will always be embedded in me is that there are going to be people in this world who have so much faith in you that it will make you cry. Randie Sessler is one of those people. He saw so much potential in me that I never knew I had. He broke me out of my shell, raised me up to chances I would never usually take, and stood firmly behind me to catch me if I fell. He even pushed me to construct Open Mic Nights, which allow students to express themselves in a judgement-free zone through poetry, song, and even monologues.

I built a space on campus that nobody gave a thought to and it blossomed into something beautiful. I would have never known that I could bring people together to share something we all have in common and have fun while doing it.  Randie guided me out of my comfort zone, and I haven't been back since. Randie’s poise, etiquette, and grace makes me proud to be his little duckling. Being a peer tutor at Wallace Community College has blessed me in numerous ways and I will always remember my teachings, my adopted family, and the love that permeates the center.