When Ruby Helyer is not spending her time working at the Felix G. Woodward Library Writing Center, she is teaching two classes and grading papers.
“I’m basically at school from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. some days,” Helyer said.
Helyer is originally from England.
“I lived in England until I was 20,” she said.
She has lived in different countries throughout her young life. She lived in Wales for five years, Australia for a year and Germany for a year as well. She has only been in the United States for a short while.
“I’ve only been in the U.S. for like three months,” she said.
She moved to the country because her boyfriend, until recently, was in the Army.
“He didn’t have the opportunity to move out of the U.S., so we looked at ways that I could move into the U.S.,” she said.
She came to APSU not only to be closer to her boyfriend, but to gain new skills in another country, even giving up a free education in Germany.
“I am doing my master’s in English and I did my bachelor’s in graphic design back in the U.K.,” she said.
She was able to get a Graduate Teaching Assistant scholarship here at APSU.
“That’s why I work in the writing center, as part of my GTA,” she said. She works five hours a week in the writing center and teaches an English 1010 class twice a week.
Helyer and the other staff members help students in the writing center in any way they need.
“Students can email us with their papers. We have a checklist of things they may want us to check like grammar, tenses and thesis statements,” she said.
The staff goes through the paper offering comments about where students could improve. The center also offers in-person, 30-minute appointments and free tutoring.
Helyer loves the writing center.
“It teaches me a lot in terms of a potential future career in teaching or tutoring. It also helps me with my own coursework in the classroom,” she said.
She also encourages students to utilize the center. She finds that many students who come to the center think they are bad at writing, when really they just need more confidence.
“I want students to have more confidence in themselves. It is always good to seek help, if the help is there, and my main advice is to always get someone to look at your work. Even though it’s scary, it helps to have that reaffirmation,” Helyer said.