Visiting the MSLC

This past week I visited the Mathmatics and Statistics Learning Center (MSLC) for help on a review sheet for my Calculus II class. I decided to take the engineering calculus course (1172) for my first math class in college. I took AP calculus 1 in high school and I got a good score on the BC test, thus I decided that I was ready for this course, considering I would have to take it eventually anyways. This course is the accelerated version of Calculus II so the review of Calculus I has gone by extremely fast. We already have a midterm over the review content this Thursday evening. I felt pretty confident on the Calculus I information, and I have done well on the quizzes so far, but I wanted to make sure I was prepared for the midterm and that I knew how the MSLC system worked before I would really need it. I have never been one to shy away from getting help, but I would say that I spend a lot of time trying to figure stuff out on my own. Part of the reason why I may have stayed away from review sessions in high school was because I didn’t know what types of questions to ask. Although, when I went to the MSLC, I thought it was really easy to find help and ask questions about the homework problems I was assigned. It wasn’t that easy to find the correct place for the center, being that it was located in the basement of one of the math buildings, but, once I found the correct room, I was honestly surprised by how many people were inside. I think there were six tables and each table was at least half occupied by students. Every student sat down at a table and worked on homework while the grad students and approved tutors walked around to offer help to anyone who needed it. I was surprised by the amount of people who were willing to seek help to this extent. In high school, tutoring was a highly stigmatized topic for students, and, for this reason, tutoring services weren’t taken advantage of as much as needed. However, I would say that I never felt bad about asking for help. I just didn’t need it as often, so I wasn’t able to help limit that level of stigma. I only needed help on one problem when I went to the MSLC, but I’m glad that I went rather than finding a fellow classmate to help me. This way I was 100% confident in the answers I was receiving, and I knew that the grad students wouldn’t just give me the answer but walk me through how to solve it. I liked that the tutors gave me hints on how to solve the problem so that I could still figure it out on my own. Personally, I learn best this way. The grad student who helped me only helped me for a minute or two, but, from their help, I was able to fully grasp the idea relating to the problem rather than simply being able to get that specific problem correct.

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