Oberlin Blogs

Ride & Walk With Me? ~ America Reads Tutor Adventure

November 21, 2021

Aishwarya Krishnaswamy ’23

Oberlin College and Oberlin's town bleed into one another; you can't tell apart where the college ends and the town begins. Oberlin's Elementary School is just a ten-minute bike ride from the general campus (which, to be fair, is a long time by Obie travel time standards). 

America Reads name tag
That's my tutor tag!

Since the spring of my freshman year, I have worked as an America Reads tutor in the local elementary school. Usually, I work with a small group of students to either provide additional support or some extra challenge beyond their grade level. 

I am working with the 3rd-grade classroom this year, and I meet them every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Teaching in the community is one of my favorite things to do here at Oberlin. So I want to share my morning bike ride to the school and walk back from the school with you; come join me! 

Psyc building
Severance Hall is where I take my Psychology classes.
  • Psychology class // 8:35 - 9:50 am//: I finish my Memory class, ask my professor, Patty, a couple of quick questions after class if I have any, and then bounce!

  • Pyle Co-op //9:50 - 10:05ish//: Usually will stop over and grab some granola or tasty thing from the co-op for breakfast.

Cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon rolls made by
talented Pylers.
  • Say 'hi' to our neighbor 'Keepers': Ride my bike through the Asia House parking lot. Keep Co-op is right around the corner from Pyle. 

  • Walnut Street: I go past Walnut Street, where no car stops for me (sad life, lol); that's where I see Langston, the middle school! 
    Langston Middle school
    That's a tiny image
    of Langston.

    Walnut street

  • Pretty houses watch: At this point, I am officially 'off-campus' and get to see some open fields and pretty houses with pretty porches. The elementary school is so out of my usual path which is a good thing because it can sometimes feel like I am literally circling around the same three buildings at Oberlin. 

  • Quads on fire time: At this point, I am just riding straight down the street until I see the school on my right. My bike is an ancient beauty which has no brakes or gears, so it takes a lot but is a joy ride for sure. 

  • Elementary school: Here I am, at the school already!

America Reads sign
Oberlin School Campus is here! 


  • Little kids //10:15ish//: Usually, I see some cute toddlers playing in the park as I park my bike.

  • Mantra time: Now that I have reached my destination, I intentionally slow down and take a deep breath, reminding myself that no matter what is going on in my life, now I am here (at the school), and I am here to give nothing but my best! 
    Aishwarya outside the Elementary School
    That's me and my bike
    all content outside the school. 


  • Clock-in: I have a pretty straightforward but multi-step sign-in process into the building. We use TimeClock Plus to log in our hours. 

  • Funtime with the crew: This year, I am working with five children specifically, and our crew's name is 'read-a-nation' which the kids came up with! Needless to say, we have a lot of fun learning together, and this is one of the best parts of the day for me! 

  • Walk back: After my teaching session, I usually walk with my friend and fellow America Reads tutor, Ariana, back to Pyle for lunch! 

That was a couple of precious hours of my life every week which I always look forward to :) 

Aishwarya and Ariana
That's me and my friend Ariana all happy
after our tutoring session! 


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