Hello, prospective students!
My name is Alex B. I'm a recent graduate (2010) of the University of Iowa with a B.A. in English (19th Century American Lit, specifically) and a special certification in Creative Writing. I've had a passion for storytelling and language ever since I started assembling Legos into characters as a toddler, forcing my parents to listen as I regaled them with the exploits of the heroes the medium facilitated. I relish the chance to try and pass some of that affection for language onto someone else.
But, more tangibly, as 1 of 12 undergraduates chosen to work directly with the prestigious Iowa Writing Workshop in the nonfiction genre, I have a strong technical pedigree. I'm well practiced in writing for both the creative and professional setting (given my time spent as a freelance writer/editor). As a result, I'm quite familiar with MLA and Chicago Manual of Style formats, knowledge I'm more than happy to pass along to the aspiring college student (who will definitely be needing all that fiddly stuff, someday) and the casual writing student alike. I've trained in nearly every form of writing, and with more than 2,000 pages written over a lifetime of daily practice, you could say I'm a bit of a nerd.
I've had a great deal of experience working with writers and readers of all skill levels - from fellow literary classmates to struggling middle and high school students - to help them improve their work. I've been described as a patient, respectful teacher who can explain complicated material in the simplest way possible. A constructive, encouraging, comfortable environment is of the utmost importance, in my opinion. These are the central tenets of my teaching style. Language classes nowadays tend to make reading and writing frustrating and tedious, focusing too much on formatting without practical relevance and not enough on perspective, creativity, and real world applicability. It's easy to understand how students, even with the best teachers, sometimes get left behind in a world of core standards and crowded classrooms. My goal is to bring the student up to speed with grammatical rules (and reading comprehension strategies) while keeping the material accessible, fun, and personalized as much as possible to their interests with a high emphasis on creativity. To that end, I'm comfortable teaching anything from public speaking to trochaic tetrameter.
If you're looking for a dedicated, diligent writing and reading tutor with loads of expertise, I think I just might be your guy.
But, though writing is my central focus, I'd be absolutely thrilled to do a general music lesson or songwriting workshop. As a guitarist of 13 years (and a practiced teacher in that area, as well), I happily offer music lessons in basic theory, guitar, songwriting, and music history for any budding Jimi's out there.
Hope to hear from you,
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