When I arrived on campus, I noticed that the parking lots were as full as I'd ever seen them. Later, the ASC coordinator told me that student enrollment is up this year.
The newest, most recognizable building on campus is called the Gateway Center . . .
. . . and inside the Gateway Center is my favorite place on campus.
There were many students streaming in, ready to learn -- although there wasn't much for me to do the first day, since no students are facing a deadline for an essay the first week of college. The only help I gave was showing people how to log onto their student accounts, where to go for placement exams, how to access online homework assignments and course information.
The Academic Support Center, where I hang out, is located on the first floor of the college library.
This is a community college in one of the more affluent suburban areas of New York. Yet we still get many students who have various challenges -- some are poor, many speak English as a second language, many are also working while they go to school, or taking care of kids; some of them have a long commute by bus.
Sometimes we tutors wonder if we really do any good at all, if we're ever getting through to people. (In case you can't read the quote: "It is better to write a bad first draft than to write no first draft at all.") But we keep on trying -- helping students write their own stories on their own blank slates.