Stress of midterms alleviated

Lauren Piro

As the first half of the semester quickly creeps to a close, Villanova students count the days to the sun and sweet freedom of spring break. However, before any of us can revel in the week-long escape from academia, we are faced with one last hurdle to overcome – the elusive midterm period. Less-defined than finals week, midterms have a way of jumping out at us when we least expect them. Suddenly, visions of chapters left half-read and blackboards of calculus hieroglyphics appear in our minds, and it seems as though accepting an early defeat is all too inevitable.But never fear, Villanova, the resources to help you get through midterms have been right under your nose the entire time. No matter what the subject matter, the University has set up outlets to help its students get needed extra help outside the classroom.Perhaps you’ve recently glanced at your syllabus to find you have a rather important paper due next week. Whether you have a near- finished essay or you’re still stuck in phase one of brainstorming, the Writing Center is the place for you. Located in Room 202 of Old Falvey, the center offers over 55 well-trained tutors to help with your biggest – and smallest – writing problems. “It’s a fun, energetic place for students to come get help with their writing,” says Director Mary Beth Simmons. “They just get that extra pair of eyes.”As many students know, getting someone else’s opinion on any piece could make quite the difference in the grade received. However, the Writing Center makes sure students know that they offer more than just a single session on one assignment.”We focus on making better writers, not better papers,” says Molly Grace, assistant to the director. Tutors in the Writing Center are happy to see that many students keep coming back once they see what an improvement the Writing Center can make to their writing. Serving over 4,500 students per year, the center obviously works for many students. However, as midterm week is one of its busiest times, the center recommends that students call or stop by to make an appointment. Hours of operation are Sunday 3:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., and Friday 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.Take a step outside the Writing Center, and you’ll find another tutoring resource fit more for mathematical needs. The Mathematics Learning and Resource Center, also in Old Falvey, is perfect for those plagued by calculus and statistics problems. Similar to the Writing Center, the MLRC is equipped with knowledgeable tutors for individual and group help. Whether you have a specific question or are uneasy about an entire concept in your freshman-level or sophomore-level math course, the math tutors are at your full disposal. The MLRC has a recently refurnished computer lab, perfect for the use of math programs like Maple, Minitab and even Excel for business calc projects. All tutors in the Math Center are very dedicated and enjoy seeing students progress and overcome their math troubles.”Last semester, I helped someone who had done poorly on her first test, but by the end of the semester, she was doing really well,” senior tutor Brian Gill says.Don’t wait too long to visit the MLRC, though. While appointments aren’t necessary, tutors have found that the students who truly get a better understanding of their subject aren’t cramming six chapters in on the night before their exam. The MLRC is open Monday through Thursday 1 p.m.-5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday 6:30 p.m. -9 p.m.For students whose foreign languages are seeming a little too, well, foreign, the Language Lab in G93 Mendel may be the place to turn to get some help before midterms. The lab offers computer programs to help type and check compositions in all of the foreign languages offered at Villanova. Audio and video lessons in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish are also available for student use. Additionally, during specific hours Spanish tutors are present in the lab to help students with vocabulary and grammar both in speaking and in compositions. Facilitators are also at hand to aid students in using the Internet to locate streaming video, newspapers and dictionaries to create a better understanding of their chosen foreign language and help familiarize themselves with its natural use. Hours of operation and the lab’s reserved schedule can be found on its Web site. Business students who find themselves lost in the world of Wall Street can find help on campus before midterms begin. The VSB Honor Society offers tutoring in all the introductory business courses. From 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. in Bartley 1045, students can get help in accounting on Mondays, in all business subjects on Tuesdays and in finance and statistics on Wednesdays. The business tutors are eager to help any who are stressed out as exams loom.Villanovans can breathe easier through midterms using the resources available on campus. With some initiative, any student can get help to make that GPA soar. And if good grades aren’t enough incentive, both the Writing Center and MLRC have pointed out that they also offer candy along with their academic services. A solution to that tricky calc problem and a lollipop? Preparing for midterms has never been sweeter.