Nick Lee is an Instructional Assistant at American River College in Sacramento, California. He graduated in 2016 from the University of California, Merced with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Writing. Nick is striving to develop student success for first generation college students by working in programs that assist in student success, and plans to continue his passion for assisting students by pursuing a master’s degree in education.

At UC Merced, Nick joined the Fiat Lux Scholars Program in hopes he would succeed as a first generation college student. He applied and was hired to be a Community Scholar for the program. As a Community Scholar, Nick lived within the residence halls and acted as a peer mentor. In the subsequent year, he applied and was hired to be a Lead Scholar for the program, serving as a peer mentor, peer advisor, and peer counselor while holding office hours for students. Over the course of one semester, Nick has spoken to 45 students during office hours. Nick has also planned and facilitated various workshops, such as a public speaking and study habits workshop, in order to assist students in achieving success. On average, the workshops Nick has hosted has seen an average of 15 to 20 students attend. In the following year, Nick was promoted to be a Student Coordinator for the program, serving as a peer mentor and peer advisor for scholars and student staff. Nick has organized training days and topics for incoming and continuing student staff members while also leading weekly team meetings.

Nick’s passion for writing was rediscovered when he took the Writing 10: Reading and Composition course. During his second year at UC Merced, he declared his minor for writing. While his passion for writing continued, Nick took the opportunity to pioneer the Fiat Lux Scholars Program’s monthly Newsletter, serving as an editor, writer, and designer. During Fall of 2014, Nick applied for the Instructional Assistant position for the Merritt Writing Program in hopes of assisting students and continuing his passion for writing. As an Instructional Assistant, Nick has been entrusted to assist professors of an assigned Writing 10 course while also hosting tutoring services at the Writing Center. In 2016, Nick’s creative writing piece, Dear Mr. Comma, was published to the UC Merced Merritt Writing Program’s journal, The Vernal Pool.

After UC Merced

Nick currently serves as an Instructional Assistant in the Reading Across the Disciplines (R.A.D) and the Writing Across the Curriculum (W.A.C.) program at American River College. He provides strategies for reading and overall student success in the R.A.D. program and provides writing consultations in the W.A.C program. Nick hopes to pursue his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at California State University, Sacramento to learn about and apply student success in a K-12 school setting. His lifelong career goal is to serve as a Principal for a K-12 school.

Be sure to check out Nick’s LinkedIn Page 

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4:37AM. Tuesday morning. She laid on the bed, motionless. No sound. No ideas. No thoughts. Only the image of my sweet queen lying on the bed, fighting for her life. She fell into a deep slumber one day and has not woken up. I was told to give up hope, to stop trying, to move on with my life because she would never wake up. Yet, every time I whispered her name in her ears, her fingers twitched as if she was listening and conjuring thoughts in her mind. As if she could remember me, her husband. Michele, my darling, why wouldn’t you wake up? My life is incomplete without you.

My dear Michele, every Tuesday morning at 4:37AM, I sit here, watching you sleep. I can smell the rose bud lipstick on your lips. The smell of honey secreting from the perfume you sprayed onto your body. And I can still smell your lavender lotion you used before you fell into this slumber—the one I am allergic to, but for some reason you continue to use it. I can smell the garbage spill of your foot odor that would haunt me every day. I can smell your hazardous morning breath reeking of overdue milk and rotting meat—the same breath where I would pretend to be asleep so I wouldn’t have to kiss you—yet, I miss that morning breath creeping against my shoulder and waking me up. And with these smells, I get this uncontrollable urge to ravage your body with my nose. And this same nose would guide me to the heaven on your hair. The smell of strawberry and plum combined together to form a heaven so divine, I use these same scents on my own hair. I have it on right now, my dear Michele, to remind me of your scent that I miss so much when you were awake.

At 4:38AM, you moved! Then your eyes slowly open! My dear Michele, you’re alive! Then, your eyes roll back and begin to faint away, you lay motionless on the bed. I poke you, but to no avail. Your skin is pale, you begin to moan as you slumber again; your touch is cold. But your body still oozes this adoring aroma that I fell in love with; I can still smell the same person I fell in love with for twenty-five years.

4:39AM. You begin moving violently. You awaken! Your eyes gaze into mine. I smell something different now—anger and frustration. You reached for the nearest pillow, blew your rotting meat breath on it, threw it at me, and said, “We’ve been together twenty-five years, stop watching me sleep!” I smiled and realized how much I missed your smell. I love you too, my dear Michele.

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Coming Up With Story Ideas

Original Image: Disability Thinking (

We all have hundreds of thousands of ideas for imaginative stories, but the moment we sit down to write, they somehow disappear. Or sometimes you across a great book or a movie and you think to yourself, “why didn’t I think of that?” Writing a good story is one thing, but coming up that story idea, you’re entering a whole different world. So the question is: how do I come up with a great story idea, or just an idea to write about?

Read: Coming Up With Story Ideas

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The Brave Little Spud

About the Piece

The Brave Little Spud is a written speech from the point of view of a couch potato describing the art of relaxation and taking care of oneself. The speech criticizes how individuals forget to relax while praising the overall idea of being a couch potato, or a spud in this case, as not a bad idea as individuals need to find time to relax and be lazy. Enjoy the read!

Read: The Brave Little Spud

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My Hometown

About the Piece

The following piece is a descriptive narrative of my hometown, in which I describe the surroundings, the community, and overall living situation. The purpose of this piece is to really try to understand my “home” and find ways to make it better for future generations. Enjoy the read!

Read: My Hometown

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Monologue: To My Friend

About this Piece

To My Friend is a monologue/eulogy given by a fictional character on the death of his best friend, Thomas. Both characters met in the 3rd grade and experienced bullying in school as they aged. The death of Thomas is ruled as a suicide and the character now relives the memories of his best friend through this short monologue. The character also reveals key reasons as to why the characters were bullied and what led to the suicide. The original monologue was written in a Play-writing Course at UC Merced. As a WARNING, this piece may be a bit explicit towards the end of the monologue. Enjoy the read!

Read: To My Friend

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