Home is Where the Tutor’s Heart Is

Tutors around campus are contributing to house life, one set of knit scarves and rock-hard abs at a time

David I. Fulton-Howard

House, House on the Range: Quad tutors brainstorm about enriching students’ lives. Maybe better-located rooms?

For freshmen eager to enjoy their newfound freedom, an adult in the dorm is just plain inconvenient. Proctors seem to leave their perpetually non-advisory, invisible state only to break up the seldom freshman room party. But rest assured, soon-to-be-upperclassmen: though your housing may get worse, the variety of active house tutors is something to look forward to.

Unlike freshman proctors, house tutors all across campus work hard towards creating a sense of community beyond entryway dinners and a weekly study break.

“You’re here to bring your interests to the community,” says Richard R. Johnston, a resident tutor in Cabot house. This year Johnston helped organize a Bob Dylan trip in the fall and a massage session during reading period.

Johnston is not alone in his efforts to unite house communities with unique events. Toby C. Berkman ’02, a tutor in Eliot, holds a weekly yoga class in the house dance studio, and Tom J. Barnett-Lamb, a Cabot tutor, leads a craft circle every week.

But it doesn’t take a weekly class to gain celebrity status as a tutor. Anthony Niblett is known in Winthrop for being an avid IM fan, and Matthew J. Corriel ’05 brings his love for music to Adams.

“My way is a loud way,” says Corriel. “I’m a noisemaker.” He is often heard busting out tunes on the d-hall piano, encouraging students to do the same.

Despite their individual popularity, most tutors are too modest to take all the credit. In the end, it’s a group effort. House Masters, fellow tutors, and spirited students are often the inspiration for their passionate presence in the community.

“A lot of tutors think of [their house] as their home,” says Johnston, “and want to treat it like a home.”