ASC Tutors rock, literally.

spirit rocksDelaney Earthdancer is a tutor at RRC’s Academic Success Centre. Below is a story that illustrates how the value of tutoring reaches beyond simply reviewing coursework. 


I collect rocks. Have done so for years. I have never asked myself why. They sit contented in large glass bowls throughout my house. They are a grounding presence.

A few years ago, I was tutoring a young man – early thirties – who was in the Apprenticeship program at Red River College. We met three times a week and focused primarily on mathematics and DC Fundamentals. He worked hard which is essential if you want to succeed in a college course. However, his history as a struggling student in grade school worried him.

As his final test approached, his anxiety became more apparent. Listening to him talk about his fears, I wondered what I could do to help him ground during the test.

Hmmm….. how about a rock? So, quietly and gently – in a listening spirit – I told him that I collect rocks. And I asked him, “Would you like a rock? You could put it on your desk, or in your pocket, and it could be like I am there with you as you write the test.” He hesitated, then his face softened with emotion and I knew my offer had touched him. There was silence and quiet considering. Yes, that would be okay. So, I brought him a rock.

A beautiful spirit-filled grounding rock.

A few days later – a big smile on his face – he came to me to tell me he had passed his test and his course. And he gave me a lovely polished rock. I still carry it with me.

Since that time, I will offer rocks to students who may need this small support. As a result, students in different areas in the college are now aware of the rocks, and will ask for one. I pull out my ceramic container of beloved rocks I keep at work and the student picks the rock that speaks to her/him. And later, I hear about how the rock was with them as they wrote their test.