Getting to Know U: Alexandra

By Melissa Rayner

Well, it’s that time again. Time to meet another inspiring Gale U resident as part of the weekly Getting to Know U blog series. So far, we’ve met a librarian and a faculty member, and today I’d like to introduce our first student.

By the way, if you haven’t yet checked out Gale U, we encourage you to visit the campus map and do some exploring.

Now, without further ado, let’s see what’s happening with Alexandra, a freshman biology student who regularly visits the campus Writing Center for a little extra help.


Finally, you’ve found the perfect mix of soft background noise and extra table-top space to really hunker down and get some work done, the Writing Center. Peppered around the big, open room are students individually clacking away at their laptops and small groups speaking to one another in hushed tones while scribbling away in their crisp, new spiral-bound notebooks. You decide to settle in a comfy club chair near the long glass wall that flanks the front of the room. With your laptop placed neatly in your lap, you join the others in a muted symphony of productivity.

Your flow is interrupted when a beautiful girl with dark hair, dark eyes, and a hippy chique style bursts through the doors.

“Is Hector here?” she asks breathlessly.

The aged man behind the desk shakes his head, but smiles all the same. “Sorry, he’s not due in for another couple hours. Want me to take a message?”

“Oh, yes, Mr. Randolph. Could you please? I want you to hear this too!” The girl rises to her tiptoes and drops back onto her heels several times in quick succession. She’s obviously very excited about whatever it is she wants to say.

“Alexandra, I’ve told you several times now. This isn’t a formal setting. You can call me Robert, like all the other students do.”

“Yes, okay. Robert. Got it. Can I tell you now?”

Robert laughs and sweeps his hands upward, motioning for Alexandra to go ahead.

She takes a deep, dramatic breath and then rushes into her story. “I got my Intro Lit paper back today.” She flourishes a thick stapled bunch of papers before her conversation partner.

“An A-! Can you believe it? An A-!”

Robert applauds softly. “Well done. I knew you could do it!”

“Yeah, I mean, I had no idea where to begin. My right brain is kind of flabby, you know? I thought I’d be taking all science courses, since I’m a bio major and all that, but–surprise!–my schedule is filled to the brim with arts and humanities. Totally not my speed. But, Hector helped me get on the right wavelength. I totally owe this A- to him, and I’ll be back too. Next time I’m going to go for an A.”

“That’s very nice to hear, Alexandra. Perhaps a change of major is in order?”

Alexandra snorts. “Yeah, right. I think I did so well on this paper, because Hector understood what would work for me. The database he told me to use is organized logically, almost scientifically. I was able to think up the search terms I wanted and drill right down into the perfect article. No reading dozens and dozens of irrelevant pages for me. There’s no way I would have been able to make the grade that way.”

She hitches her backpack straps up higher over her shoulders. “Anyway, please tell Hector I’ll be back. I have a paper due next week for my World History class, and I know I’ll need his help. Oh, and tell him ‘thank you’ too, and thanks to you too, Mr. Ran–Robert. You run a great center here.”

Alexandra waves a playful goodbye and then walks toward the exit with a quick and bouncy gait. She smiles at you on her way out.

“Wait,” you cry. “Can I ask a quick question?”


You congratulate her on her A- and then inquire about the database Hector had showed her, the one she said worked perfectly for her logical brain.

“I think it was… Literature Resource Center. Yeah, that’s what it was called. Totally recommend it. Enjoy!” And, with that, Alexandra is off, and you are online to check out the resource she totally recommended.

Alexandra can rest easy between classes, knowing the Writing Center–and Gale–will help her make the grade.

Write3. Alexandra-4

So Alexandra aced her paper thanks to Literature Resource Center–but she often uses a variety of other resources as well. To see what they are, visit To learn more about Gale U, visit Next week, we’ll introduce Sam, a Latin-American Studies student doing his best to master the language while staying on top of his other coursework too. But don’t worry! We will meet Hector, Robert, and the other residents of the Writing Center later as well!


Melissa for Caricature (2)About the Author

Melissa is obsessed with books, birds, and bonbons. She is a new mom and holds an MA in Applied Sociology. She also writes fiction and skips about the interweb as Emlyn Chand.





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