Brianna’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Brianna’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
From September 2010 to September 2011, I worked with a 15 year-old high school student who had clinical depression and ADHD. Part of my tutoring entailed being a "homework babysitter." The student is incredibly intelligent, but because of her ADHD, she has a hard time keeping on track and completing assignments. While I assisted her in becoming a stronger writer, I also helped her keep organized and on top of her work. I made sure she wasn't constantly texting, using Facebook, or doing anything else that would distract her from finishing her homework. I bought her folders, a binder, and helped her make calendars to keep track of when assignments were due. It was a challenging year but overall successful - she completed her first year of high school and gained a greater understanding of time management.
I am strong with most humanities courses, including history. Since my two degrees are both highly interdisciplinary, I took courses from a broad range of departments, including history. Some of these classes specifically focused on American history, such as "Women in American Religious Culture," and "The Graphic Novel," a course that looked at graphic novels as academic literature. The theme of the novels and cartoons we discussed was wartime in America, ranging from the Civil War to the present ware in Iraq.
I have taken two introductory Anthropology courses at UC Santa Cruz. One course was in Physical Anthropology: the course title was, "Introduction to Human Evolution." We studied evolution; Darwinism (e.g. "survival of the fittest"); anatomy and defining characteristics of different phases of human evolution (e.g. the supraorbital ridge of Australopithecus africanus, mandible sizes of Homo Erectus); DNA; and how proteins are formed. I received a "B" in the course. The other course was in Cultural Anthropology and was titled, "Introduction to Cultural Anthropology." We learned the names and methods of famous historical anthropologists (Margaret Mead, Levi Strauss); the controversies surrounding ethnography and cultural determinism/cultural relativism; and how to write epistemological essays based on specific cultures (e.g. we focused largely on Indian and South-East Asian culture). I received an "A-" in the class. I would not be able to tutor in advanced anthropology courses but have confidence in introductory knowledge.
Words have always come naturally to me. I am a very strong writer and have a proficient command of the English language. Much of my English skills stem from my love for reading. Literature and English go hand in hand and in some cases are used interchangeably. I do not consider them synonymous subjects, but complementary. The more I read and exercise my ability to write formal essays, informal creative fiction, and poetry, the greater my knowledge of English becomes. English, to me, is the love of words - the desire to peruse a thesaurus simply because there are thousands of English words still waiting to be discovered!
One of my favorite courses in high school was AP European History. The classical arts of Europe hold a romantic fascination for me. It began when I took my first trip overseas and spent three weeks touring Italy, Switzerland and France. Seeing the history I studies come alive in front of me solidified my interest in European history.
I find when I have a passion for a subject, it is easier for me to teach and convey that knowledge to others. My teacher strongly encouraged an interactive and engaging atmosphere in his classroom. Since history happened in the past it is important to keep it alive through creative learning. For instance, comparing the foundations of the Roman Empire to pop culture references, such as The Hunger Games young adult fiction series.
I have taken a plethora of film courses at UC Santa Cruz and greatly enjoy film theory. I hope to obtain my Ph.D in digital media studies, which would include studying film. I took an introductory course called, "The Film Experience," which gave me the tools and vocabulary necessary to analyzing and writing about film (e.g. mise-en-scene, camera angles, shot-reverse-shot, key lighting, editing, non-diegetic vs. diegetic sound, etc.). It was a very technical course that focused on the history of film (the Zoetrope, Edison's Kinetiscope). We also screened many classic films that either highlighted aspects of classic cinema ("Citizen Kane") or displayed tropes iconic of specific genres ("Singing in the Rain" as an archetypal musical).
In addition, I have taken several courses that deal with specific film genres and film theory. I took a course on war films; gender in global cinema; a Feminist Studies course on power and representation in film; and my Senior Seminar for my Literature degree focused on French Film Noir. I am especially interested in feminist film theorists such as Laura Mulvey and Ann Kaplan, but have also read a wide variety of film theory. These courses also gave me a strong understanding of how to write papers pertaining to film analysis.
I am confident in my grammar skills and have previous experience tutoring high school and college-level students in essay writing and English. I held writing workshops as an Academic Assistant for UC Santa Cruz. Furthermore, in my current professional position I am the go-to woman in the office for anything that needs editing.
One of my degrees is in Literature. Yes, part of this decision was for the simple fact that I love reading and books. However, in the academic sense, books are, in my opinion, vast and sundry in their ability to interpret all instances of the human condition. In conjunction with their use as creative expression, they are also tools of learning, such as textbooks and scientific writing. They give information, they cultivate imagination, and they are integral to academic growth.
Most of my high school-level tutoring started as being an English/Literature tutor. I understand how to deconstruct books and explain various elements of Literature (e.g. mood, theme, setting plot, expository, climax, rising/falling action, etc.). I am proficient at both explaining the basics of Literature for younger high school students and discussing at length heavy theory that needs to be broken down on a college-level understanding. UC Santa Cruz's Literature department was phenomenal and I learned an immense amount of knowledge as a Literature student.
I have taken a number of religion classes since high school. My junior year of high school I took a class called, "World Religions." We learned introductory material about a plethora of sundry religions, ranging from Christianity, Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism, Zen Buddhism and Taoism. Most of the reading materials gave us basic understanding of the main principles and morals each religion follows. We were required to read an autobiography or biography by/of a famous religious leader. I read the Autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi. I received an A+ in the class.
In college, many courses I've completed have either included detailed studying of religions or were solely based on religion. For instance, I took a Literature course titled, "Biblical Narratives." The course was based on Judaism, so we studied the Old Testament and the Torah. We learned names and dates as well as the purpose in which the Old Testament was written, from a literary perspective. My introductory Cultural Anthropology class also spoke of Native American religions and Hinduism. I have also taken Feminist Studies courses that spoke about women in a religious context: I took a course called, "Tribes/Caste/Women" where Indian women and their place and history in the Hindu religion was examined. Another course I took was "Feminism of the Global South," in which we looked predominantly at South Asian women and thus closely examined Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Lastly, I took a course titled, "Women in American Religious Culture." This class discussed women in the context of Christianity, Puritanism, Mormanism, Protestantism, Methodists, Catholicism, Judaism, Voodoo, Wicca, Goddess-worshipping, Paganism and Atheism. All of these courses I received a grade of "B" or higher.
Sociology is a subject that is frequently discussed in Feminist Studies courses. Feminist theory includes many statistics and examines the way society forms ideologies about women's minds, bodies, and contributions to said society. Literature courses also include sociological perspectives, given the importance of knowing the context and dynamics of the time period and society in which books are written.
I have also taken two Sociology courses. One course was called, "Language and Social Interaction." We studied the ways in which language and society have a symbiotic relationship: language influences society at the same time society influences language. We read mostly sociolinguistic essays. For instance, the way certain phrases are either considered Proper English or slang is based on sociological factors such as class, ethnicity, location and gender. The other course I took was "The Sociology of Sex." In this course we examined how sex is defined, viewed and taught in the United States.
I have much experience in teaching studying skills to students. In high school, as Editor-In-Chief, I taught how to work with deadlines and what steps to take in creating a quality article in a timely manner (e.g. do research first, interviews second, rough draft third, make time for editing, etc.). As an Academic Assistant at UC Santa Cruz, the main point of that position was assisting college freshman adapt to the rigorous workload of a full-time college student. I brainstormed with other Academic Assistants in coming up with the best studying methods to share with our students, such as the importance of the library as a distraction-free zone when studying for a test, or how best to write a strong essay. Part of my job at Merit Academy was to teach the ESL student I was tutored how best to maximize his time and get all his homework done while still being able to play sports. Lastly, my most recent experience working with the high school student who had ADHD gave me the best knowledge in how to teach others studying skills. I helped her refine her organizational habits by buying her folders; making her write a calendar; and remind her to write down her homework in her planner. I also taught her the most effective method to study for Math: going through each section's review page and doing the sample questions. For English, I helped her summarize texts she read in order to make sure she remembered the main points of each short story or book. I also gave her a cheat sheet on how to write a strong essay with a split thesis.
I have previous experience tutoring in writing for high school and college-level students. I enjoy editing and expanding people's writing skills. Writing is not only an area under which I thrive academically; it is a passion for me. I have edited essays as a tutor and also help out many of my friends and family with their writing assignments. At my current job I am the go-to girl for editing (albeit this is usually factual, copy-editing type material). I also have experience as the Editor-In-Chief for my high school newspaper.