Peer Tutor Spotlight – Kyle Tarry

Photo source: Kyle Tarry

Hello! My name is Kyle Tarry and I’m currently working towards a bachelors in Biochemistry. I will be entering into my third year this September.

I grew up in a very rural town in northern British Columbia and lived there my whole life. The town population was only around 9000, so transitioning to a large city like Vancouver and enrolling into UBC has been a surreal experience. I currently own and operate a physical rehabilitation clinic with my partner, which takes up a lot of my time when I’m not studying.

At this point, the only course I have been a peer tutor for is BIOL201 (Introduction to Biochemistry), which I have thoroughly enjoyed!

What do you most enjoy about being a peer tutor?

So far, I have really enjoyed watching students grow and understand course material. For example, seeing that little “Ah-ha” moment when something clicks and suddenly, the problem becomes easier. Being able to help with that throughout the semester has been really rewarding. As odd as it may sound, there actually is a sense of enjoyment in watching students succeed on their exams and homework with some help along the way.

What has being a peer tutor brought to your undergraduate experience?

Drive and dedication to do better mostly. When I can see how many brilliant questions get asked on a daily occurrence, it makes me wish to do better. It’s surprisingly humbling to see how much more personal growth I need to achieve and being a peer tutor has shown me this. Dealing with students from different backgrounds has also given insight that not every problem only has one approach to solve it, which I can use for my own academics.

What has been an interesting outcome of your peer tutoring experience?

No one told me when I started this job that I would become so invested in helping students do their best! I had no idea I would enter into back and forth discussions to help explain concepts, or check Piazza late at night to help someone. I never even expected that I would have students come to office hours saying how well they did on their exams and relay a simple “thank you”. Although it is certainly an interesting sensation / outcome, I do enjoy how it turned out.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Spare time? No entiendo… Normally between semesters I try to travel as much as possible around the world. Currently I have been to over 30 countries and would like to see as much as possible. During school semesters I enjoy cooking mostly, trying out new recipes and ideas and turning my partner into my test subject! Also, when the weather is nice and sunny I do enjoy walking down by the ocean with a coffee to relax.

What is a fun fact about you that people may not know?

Not really a fun fact but… I am a very introverted person with problems speaking in front of others. I certainly had to fix that up quickly to be a peer tutor though! Something that might be a little more fun is that I grew up working in fine dining restaurants in my hometown, so I’m actually a very good cook! I still enjoy cooking for friends and family when they come over, since I find it to be very relaxing (until I need to clean-up).

What are your plans following graduation?

After graduation I would like to explore options for a master’s degree or PhD in biochemistry – hopefully in Spain. That is where I spend most of my travel time and I absolutely love it there. Eventually I would like to look at teaching, which is one of the main reasons I was so happy to gain experience as a peer tutor. But plans always change… so maybe I might end up continuing my schooling here in Vancouver.

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