On the second floor of the Fogelson Library, in a small cubicle next to the computer lab, Rodrigo Zaragoza sits at a desk with his computer. The bookshelf behind him holds various dictionaries, thesauruses and other writing reference tools.
Zaragoza, a musical theater student, is one of three tutors here at SFUAD, each with his or her own specialty. Anne Kennedy focuses on art history, Pam Houser is a general writing tutor and Zaragoza works primarily with the international, Spanish-speaking students. All three have specific hours they spend in Fogelson, which are posted on a table right outside the cubicle.
In terms of credentials, Zaragoza grew up in Mexico, learning both English and Spanish at a bilingual school, before moving to the United States in 2006.
“I’ve been in that situation where I studied English all my life in Mexico but now that I actually have to apply it, it’s a little more complicated than you expect it to be,” says Zaragoza. “A lot of the time, people translate things in their minds very literally. I understand that. So when I’m reading it, I know what they’re trying to say.”
When students come in for writing help, Zaragoza asks that they have their papers printed so that he can write his revisions directly on it. After he’s through reading the paper, Zaragoza goes over the corrections to ensure that each student understands what was wrong and why it should be fixed. The basic premise of his job as a tutor revolves around helping students make their papers coherent.
“That’s kind of how it should be when you write an essay; you should be able to give it to anybody and they can understand your argument,” Zaragoza says.
Even though his attention is directed toward SFUAD’s international students, Zaragoza encourages all students to stop by the library to have their essays peer-edited, as it never hurts to run it past an extra set of eyes. Students needing to coordinate their schedules with a tutor can contact email@example.com. There are tutors available every day that the library is open in order to best serve the students.