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An end of the year get-together

If you’ve ever toured McDaniel, you might have heard some pretty nice things about our professors, including but not limited to the fact that they’re AWESOME and that professors often like to have students over for dinner at their homes. While this is not true of all professors (though I can still dream that certain professors will someday grant me the honor of letting me in their houses), the professors who do host parties for students do a really great job of it.

Last night, many of my fellow writing tutors and I showed up at the house of McDaniel’s wonderful writing center director (and our boss), Josh. Josh tries to have a tutor get-together at his home at least once a semester, and these parties are something I look forward to all semester. Typically, he and his wife will serve tacos or something else that can accommodate vegetarians in addition to meat eaters, sometimes, there will be homemade ice cream, and always, there are games. Fun games. Some of the best and funniest games I’ve ever played.

At this year’s party, we played Whisper Down the Lane Pictionary, a game that involves paper, pens, and a sense of humor, in which players alternate between writing sentences and drawing them, with each player only allowed to see the sentence or picture that was written or drawn before whatever they have do to. The results are hilarious. Even the most mundane starting sentences turn into some really funny illustrations, which lead to even funnier interpretations of said pictures and so forth. The laughter is side-splitting.

Since Josh grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and had plenty of exposure to Amish and Mennonite people during that time, he also likes to have people play a game called Mennonite Madness, a game in which players each get a piece of paper but the group only gets one pen. Players take turns rolling a die with the hopes of rolling a one or a six. Once someone roles one of those two numbers, that player gets to take the pen and try to write down the numbers one through 99 and will right down as many of those numbers as possible until someone else rolls a one or a six and gets to take the pen from the first player and try to do the same. Whichever player gets to 99 first wins the game. It’s a fast-paced game full of shouting and grabbing, and it’s always fun. I’ll never forget how at one of last year’s tutor parties, one of the tutors got so into the game that she accidentally threw a pen across Josh’s dining room, nearly breaking the window.

Josh’s appreciation for his tutors really shows, not just through his parties, but through all the things he does for us throughout the year, be it making sure that we’re all doing okay to helping us write resumes and cover letters to taking us to conferences. Because he’s such a great guy, the other tutors and I worked together to get him and his wife a present for their first son, who is due in June. Since we’ve had kind of a robot theme going in the second half of this semester (we built a giant robot out of cardboard just for the heck of it), I decided that we should get the baby a blanket with robots on it, which thanks to Etsy, we did. Josh and his wife both really appreciated the gift, which was a relief, since I put a lot of work into being in charge of organizing the gift and the cards and whatnot.

Tutor parties are such a blast and they’re one more reason for me to appreciate my good fortune in having a job at the writing center. This coming week is the last week of classes before finals week, and it’s also our last week of tutoring for the school year. I’ve learned and grown a lot as a tutor this year, and when I’m home for the summer, the writing center is something I’m really going to miss. Thankfully, I still have one more year left  and to become an even better tutor and to create even more writing center memories.

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Here’s the cardboard robot (at the time, still in progress) the writing center tutors collaborated on this semester.

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And here’s the adorable baby gift the writing center’s robot creation inspired!

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