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Hello! I'm James, a native Houstonian recently returned home after spending the past 8 years studying and working overseas. I'm so excited to be back, and very eager to put my experience to work helping you get the most out of your own education. My goal is to help make sure that every student I work with has the same freedom I've enjoyed when it comes time for you to choose where to go next - don't let that one problem subject, SAT section, or admissions essay pin you down!
I graduated from St Thomas High School in 2004. Any current Eagles out there should take a look at the '04 yearbook for proof- although the photos of me are beyond embarrassing, as the Aquin's Editor-in-Chief, I had a hand in every page produced by a 30 person staff as we went on to produce a book ranked among the top five in the country. I also managed to qualify as a National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalist and an AP Scholar with Distinction, scoring 5s in English Language, English Literature, US History, US Government, and AB Calculus.
After high school, I moved to Scotland to study at the University of St Andrews where I earned an MA (First Class Honours) in Art History and graduated with the award for the top dissertation in my department. I then went on to study for a PhD in the theory of architecture at the University of Cambridge, writing my thesis (presently submitted for examination) on Houston's history and future development. While I was still resident in Cambridge, I supervised many undergraduates on courses dedicated to some of the most daunting branches of art history ('The Poetics and Politics of Surrealism'; 'Modernism and After'). Working within the Cambridge tutorial system, a system where undergraduate teaching centers around weekly 1:1 and 1:2 supervisions, I've become very adept at making even the most challenging topics accessible and engaging by transforming subjects that might seem overwhelming at first glance into manageable questions targeted at each individual student's own particular difficulties and enthusiasms alike.
And here's the the thing, the thing that keeps me so excited to tutor: I learned this style of tutoring because it's the only way I've been able to manage my own learning difficulties along the way. I've struggled all my life with a very pronounced Attention Deficit Disorder, a disorder that went undiagnosed until relatively late because I was never especially hyperactive. In other words - teachers tended to overlook the trouble I was having because I wasn't the ADD/ADHD kid who couldn't sit still; I was the one who couldn't go more than 3 minutes without doodling in the margins of books, on desktops, and even in my SAT book (but I still managed to score V: 800 M: 750 and W: 800... and I still think I should have gotten extra credit for the drawings). But just because your ADD/ADHD and mine might not look the same doesn't mean we're not still in the same boat - and while I'm happy to work with any student at all, I'm particularly eager to help out folks who are struggling with the same things that I've had to learn to manage myself.
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