During my time in the WLAIP, both as a student and tutor, I gained skills and experience that I don’t believe any other internship could have offered. As a student, I was able to gain valuable insight about the value that lives within alternative perspectives. I learned that by taking the time to see others point of view and consider ideas and situations from perspectives other than your own. Therefore, when I got the chance to be a tutor for this program, both this summer and last, I was excited to hone this skill and apply it to my daily life. However, once I arrived and began tutoring students, I began to realize that in exchange for listening to others I began to discredit myself and lose confidence in my own thoughts and ideas. As a result, I was forced to return to the drawing board and figure out a comfortable balance between acknowledging others point of view and staying firm in my own position on things. Luckily, I had the month of July and my time here with the WLAIP program to help find that perfect balance.
Over the next four weeks, I would go on to challenge many beliefs I held and begin to strip my values down to their core to try and identify why it was that I clung to certain ideas. At the same time, I also thought back to my previous course work and conversations with others to help identify when it is and is not helpful to consider the ideas of others. Fortunately, about three weeks into this process I found the answer I was looking for … constant questioning and self-evaluation. Although some would think this is just a natural phase of maturation, I would argue that is much more than that. To me, it was not simply a realization that came to me as I grew and matured, but rather a skill that I attained as a result of the constant challenges that the WLAIP program forced me to take on. Without this program, I wouldn’t be who I am today and wouldn’t have been exposed to the many flaws I had in my thinking and in my character. If it were not for people like Dr. Jennifer Abbott and Dr. Jill Lamberton, I would have never learned how important it is to listen to others, to speak your truth, and most importantly to constantly revise and re-evaluate yourself (and your papers) because nothing is ever perfect.