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I love learning. That's why I love working with students, because I can continue to learn alongside them. As classicist Edith Hamilton (1867-1963) once said, "It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life."
My inquiring mind has taken me to many places--and to many schools. As an undergraduate at Harvard, I majored in folklore and mythology. My first master's degree was in American studies (University of Texas), my second in creative writing (University of Virginia), and my third in Arab studies (Georgetown).
A writer at heart, I cycle in and out of academia. I coordinated a college writing center and currently work as a college writing specialist, training and supervising peer writing tutors and consulting with faculty as they teach writing across the curriculum. I have also worked as a newspaper copy editor, a public relations coordinator, and an academic journal editor.
Writing center practice has shaped my tutoring philosophy for all subjects. If I work with you, the pen stays in your hand. I question, I notice, I explain--but you do the work, so that whatever we accomplish belongs to you and remains with you.
I have studied Modern Standard Arabic at American universities, reaching a basic proficiency through my master's program in Arab studies. I feel comfortable tutoring first year Arabic, but I do not have native fluency, especially in speaking.
I have taught and tutored college freshmen with Aspergers. Although they had excellent content knowledge, they needed practice communicating their ideas fully in speaking and in writing. They excelled at answering factual questions but needed encouragement with critical thinking and "exploring."
I include public speaking as part of a freshman seminar I teach. I give students practice with "minute presentations"--from notes, with PowerPoints, and with Prezis.
The strongest students know what they know and know what they don't know. Weaker students need help identifying strengths (to build on) and weaknesses (to overcome or work around). I have tutored students on organization and time management strategies.
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