I was studying at my table when a student walked in who didn't have an appointment but wanted to meet with a tutor. I heard my bosses voice say: "We have lots of tutors available. Lets see . . . there's Alex and Arthur--" I sat at the table trying to study for every subject possible thinking to myself "maybe if I don't look up someone else will meet with him. Yeah: Just look busy. . . Don't ask me, don't ask me, don't--"
"--Alex! Would you be willing to meet with so and so?"
"Of course!" I never disobey a direct command. Usually. Besides, not helping him would've been a huge mistake.
The student had never been to the writing center before but needed help with organization. After telling him about the Center, I clarified "You just need help with organization?"
"Yeah. That's all."
I pulled out a piece of paper and asked him what assignment he was working on.
"An essay for this class, but I just need help with organization."
"Okay." I said. "Do you have you're assignment sheet?"
A puzzled look came over his face. "Yeah . . . well, no. No, I don't have it." I asked him to explain the assignment to me; he did, then I asked him about the outline for the assignment, which he gave me.
Maybe he just needed to see it on paper. Organization: Check.
Or so I thought.
"Well" he said, "this is nice and all, but I already know how to write the paper. I just need help with organization."
"Wait, what do you mean by organization?" I asked.
"I need help organizing my folders and stuff--do you do that?--cause I keep forgetting my assignments and I'm failing my classes because I'm not organized so can you help me?"
Oh! Organization! The realization hit me like . . . like . . . a realization! I get it now! "Yes. I can help you with that." I'm pretty OCD when it comes to organization: I told him how I organized my binders, how I limited a binder to one or two subjects each; I showed him how to plan a weekly schedule of assignments (by using his classes) and break studying down by day, shared an app with him called "Task and Cal" that's greaT with a capital T; I talked to him about other organizational stuff, and by the end, I think he felt more prepared. For me though, I realized all the things I knew but wasn't doing! I mean, yeah, I plan sometimes; I organize my stuff every now and then, but I realized I could be doing so much better.
I got home today, did what I showed the student for my classes, and here I am. Telling this story. Life has a strange way of teaching you what you need from where you least expect it.