I have had wide and varied personal and professional experiences but have only two paragraphs in which to describe and summarize it here. I spent most of my teen years living in Europe and then as emancipated minor at 17 when I was actively involved in the "Counter Culture" during the late Sixties and early Seventies. Then I had a religious experience and in 1972 enrolled in a Christian college. from there I served as a missionary in Rwanda, Africa [in pre-genocide days]. When I returned to the U.S. I worked as a counselor in an inner city in New York State. I left that job for the military after being told that because of my ethnicity it would not be politically acceptable to promote me. I joined the Army as a conscientious Objector and by the end of six years I had completed both a BA and an M.S.Ed. [from USC], and had begun a doctoral program. After a two year stint as a civil service trainer and educator, I was recruited for a consulting position in California doing "Environmental Prevention" of substance abuse and drunk driving at a Federal Prevention Research Center. The work was ground-breaking and led to the formation of a nonprofit and many successful proposals and governmentally funded grant-based projects involving the education of people around ways of being proactive in a new public health framework. I wrote my doctoral dissertation [Peabody College, Vanderbilt University] based on that work.
After closing the nonprofit (once most states and provinces had adopted the ideas that I and colleagues had developed), I went to work running treatment programming and educational programs for mental health and substance abuse clients in residential and outpatient settings including prisons, and managed programming for people in the criminal justice system and for clients who were voluntary referrals to treatment. I began to teach at two local colleges in the San Francisco Bay area's East Bay [in Berkeley and in Concord] after having returned to graduate school (post-doctorate). I didn't need the redundant Masters, but I wanted to (and did) do all of the coursework in a graduate Psychology master’s program at Sacramento State (CSUS) in order to better understand the challenges faced by my clients and students. Arrmed with a fuller understanding of behavioral health, I went into local government work (teaching on the side), and some years late retired (in 2014). I brought my family--including a son in elementary school and two daughters in high school--to Florida where my parents live, and settled in the "NW" part of Gainesville. Here, I discovered that I still want to do some meaningful work and, consequently, signed up to make myself available as a tutor. Based on years of working with teen and adult "coerced referrals," I expect to specialize in helping students who need motivation and want to work simultaneously on psychological growth, personal growth, self-esteem, meaning in life and "recovery" from a list of possible addictions and problematic experiences that threaten to keep them from attaining their potential in life.
I created a course called "Accent Exit" to help foreign students with English speaking and pronunciation problems. That work naturally led to a great deal of interaction with immigrants, especially from Asian countries and South and Central America. Having lived for eight years outside of the United States, including working in Africa--in French--I have had ample opportunity to assist people with their English skills. Providing a variety of educational services for inmates and people in the criminal justice field, has shown me that many of the "3R's" fundamentals have been essentially "skipped" by people who eventually fall out of step with the mainstream.
From my varied, hands-on background that has include a great deal of intensive work with such groups and individuals, I know that the basics must be recouped before meaningful progress can occur. While I didn't teach English, per se, at the college level [I taught Diversity], I had to deal with the kinds of English problems that young people bring to Community College--in classroom activities, assignments and tests. That meant having to work with many students on their English usage and writing skills, as well as on comprehension, vocabulary, and the full range of content that one would have thought all students would have mastered prior to the commencing the first college course. So, although I haven't taught English as a specific subject, I have had to teach it by default in order to teach a wide range of other subjects to many different groups functioning at various reading and writing levels--from troubled teens in treatment to adults trying to keep up with their classmates in college courses.
I am not a traditionally trained tutor. I have the commensurate education and more, having continued to take college courses and to fulfill the education requirements for several professional certifications over the course of some years beyond the completion of my doctorate. I took a lot of Math and a lot of Science courses in college, but I would not hold myself out as having anything meaningful to contribute as a tutor in either area. My life and work experiences--including a lot of teaching of several different kinds--has pointed me in directions that have forced me to have to get fluent in a number of disciplines including Social Science, Psychology, History, Health, Religion, Diversity, and to a different degree or in a different way, Philosophy, Political Science. Each of those disciplines are heavy on English and the correct and effective use of our language to express one's thoughts verbally and in writing--in class and in papers and on tests. I have an affinity for "problem children" ... probably because I was one. But I found nontraditional ways of changing the paradigm for myself, and I beat all the skeptics about whether or not I could make it to adulthood--let alone to a successful career and even retirement.
I think that many young people end up in college wondering "What the heck am I doing here? I'm an imposter! If anyone really KNEW me and who I really am, they would reject me completely," and many young men and women abandon school rather than risk being exposed as a fraud. But they really were NOT frauds, at all, but were simply unable to come to terms with what was necessary for them to succeed from one exam to the next and from one course to the next, The problem may FEEL like it is course-specific, but a lack of confidence and self-acceptance are often the real culprits. Not confronting the twin demons of doubt and the self-fulfilling prophecies (put on us as children) can be devastating and can short circuit all efforts to get passing grades and move through school successfully. Regardless of the course [within the range I describe or list, above], I can help you to overcome obstacles that are not based on cognitive function problems ... and for highly motivated students with learning disabilities and students with mental health problems, I can probably help you, too.
If my profile resonates for you, and if you are seeking a non-traditional and non-typical tutor ... one who can add a dimension of "counseling" to the mix ..., then I may be your man. After reading this, sleep on it. If you wake up still wondering about it, then you might want to take that as a sign and try me out. If I can't help you I will know it by the end of the first session and I will tell you the truth so that you can find a better fit for your needs, situation, history and personality. And if it seems to me like I can help you in significant ways, I will tell you that, also. I have had wide and varied personal and professional experiences but have only two paragraphs in which to describe and summarize it here. I spent most of my teen years living in Europe and then as emancipated minor at 17 when I was actively involved in the "Counter Culture" during the late Sixties and early Seventies. Then I had a religious
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