Ever since I was a child, my strong point has always been reading and writing. I graduated from Washington College with departmental honors in English, and from UMCP with a master’s degree in journalism. For me, learning big words came easy — the real challenge was learning to express myself clearly in words everyone understood. (Studying journalism is a very good way to learn this.)
I also have a decent command of mathematics, including algebra and trigonometry. I learned a lot about it from my father, whose great pleasure was to explore a mathematical problem from every possible angle. My own approach is simpler — find one way of describing the problem that makes the solution clear.
I'm still new to teaching, however. I've worked in the news business for pretty much my whole adult life. What led me to believe I could tutor was this:
A while ago, I was visiting with some family members who shall remain nameless. One of them was trying to get his son to finish some fairly basic math problems that the son didn't quite understand. The father kept getting less and less patient until it turned into a long, angry 20-minute argument that ended in tears and threats of punishment.
Then, I stepped in and got the kid to understand in about thirty seconds. Without raising my voice. I hadn't expected it to be that easy. I don't see myself as capable of managing a roomful of students, but if somebody wants to learn a subject, I think I can stay patient and teach the subject without letting my ego or temper get in the way.
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