Profile: Crystal Ball

As college students, I know we all wonder where we will be a few years from now. I know we have all run into those moments where we question if all of our hard work is going to pay off. Some people may get a grade back and wonder where they went wrong. They studied hard and took the proper notes, but for some reason they keep running into problems. In this interview, you will learn how you can get help if you are struggling with your study habits, have a disability and are ashamed to speak up, or if you just need an extra push. Crystal Ball is the office manager in the learning center and she helps keep everyone who feels like they are drowning afloat. Her hugs will change your day and, like her name suggests, she really helps clear up the questions that you have been wondering about yourself that are crucial for your future. Just walk into Crystal Ball's office, and she will help you figure out what you need to do to help you improve your outcomes for the future.  

  1. What is the learning center and what does it mean to you?

“Although the Learning Center can be thought of as a building on Washington Street just next door to Security, it is much more than that. The Learning Center is the point of contact for students who have any type of disability on campus at the Historic Campus in Gainesville. We also offer tutoring at the Learning Center as well. However, the Learning Center is much more than that too! In fact, the Learning Center has frequently been called by many students their “home away from home” due to its warm atmosphere. To me, the Learning Center DEFINITELY is a home away from home!”

2. What is your role in the learning center?

“I am the Office Manager. On any given day, I could be meeting with prospective students interested in Brenau, students with a disability, students who need tutoring, or students who need some study tips. I also could be proctoring exams, answering phone call inquiries, informing students or non-students of CLEP testing options, arranging tutoring sessions, or even delivering tests taken by students at the Learning Center to the professor for grading. My days are definitely not set in stone, which provides much spontaneity as well as constant changing and rewriting of the day’s duties.”  

3. How long have you been working at the learning center?

“On July 7, 2016, I celebrated my second year anniversary of working here. I plan on staying until they ask me to leave.”

4. How does the learning center help people with disabilities?

“The Learning Center is the place on campus for all students who have ANY form of disability. The Learning Center provides tutoring to students who have any type of disability as a priority for free as resources permit. We have intervened with classroom location on behalf of students from time to time to rearrange where the class is held, should it be held in a location that is not conducive to a student due to their disability. We have worked with students who have different disabilities to make it possible for them to take tests and not to get behind by writing the student’s verbal answers on a test for them if they had an injury or limited use of their dominant hand. The Learning Center has also read test questions to students who have a specific learning disability such as dyslexia, vision issues, or reading and comprehension disabilities.”

5. What would be some advice that you would give to someone who may be ashamed of their disability and therefore not seek help?

“I think the best advice to give anyone in this situation is to never be ashamed of anything that makes you unique. We are all different and sometimes, our differences can become our strengths! For example, my son has ADHD. His mind does not function in a society defined “normal” way, but the beauty of his mind is that it is so wonderfully creative and out of the box. Let’s face it, if we were all the same, life would be really boring! I would also send these students this link of famous people with disabilities as an encouragement: https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/personal-stories/famous-people