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Gabriel B.

Reading/Writing/English/History: Calmly Understanding Yet Rigorous

Reading/Writing/English/History: Calmly Understanding Yet Rigorous

$30/hour

  • 2 hours tutoring

  • Chicago, IL 60640

About Gabriel


Bio

I have taught a broad array of courses in political philosophy, history, religion, and literature to college-level students at North American universities for 12 years. I have also had some experience teaching high school students, and actually feel as though I can sometimes have a more positive impact on students at the high school level.

I am able and willing to tutor anyone who needs my help in learning or improving their skills as they might relate to: a) the English language...

I have taught a broad array of courses in political philosophy, history, religion, and literature to college-level students at North American universities for 12 years. I have also had some experience teaching high school students, and actually feel as though I can sometimes have a more positive impact on students at the high school level.

I am able and willing to tutor anyone who needs my help in learning or improving their skills as they might relate to: a) the English language (speaking, reading, writing, grammar, spelling, etc.) and its literature (understanding meaning, intention; writing essays or papers), b) history (especially European and U.S. history), c) German, d) Hebrew, as well as e) a number of other subjects in the humanities or social sciences. Although I have lived in this country for many years, having attended university here, I am from Scotland originally and have lived in a number of different countries around the world. I firmly believe that my experience and outlook gained from all this can be uniquely helpful to students, from whatever background, seeking help in subjects related to the humanities and social sciences--in subjects, that is, which have first and foremost to do with language, and therefore with everything that language enables human beings to do.


Education

University of Chicago
Fundamentals
University of Toronto
Masters
University of Toronto
Other

Policies

  • Hourly rate: $30
  • Tutor’s lessons: In-person
  • Travel policy: Within 20 miles of Chicago, IL 60640
  • Lesson cancellation: 1 hours notice required
  • Background check passed on 9/16/2013

  • Your first lesson is backed by our Good Fit Guarantee

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Subjects

Business

Microsoft Word

Computer

General Computer, Microsoft Word

Corporate Training

German,

German

I have studied German, on and off, for more than 25 years. I wrote my Master's thesis on the political philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, and I have translated a number of the works of 20th century Jewish-German philosopher, Leo Strauss.
Hebrew,

Hebrew

After I finished university, I moved to Israel to attend a non-degree program in Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University. In preparation for that move, I began to study modern Hebrew during my last quarter at The University of Chicago. Once in Israel, I continued to take Hebrew, and progressed quickly to the stage of advanced beginner/intermediate within a matter of months. Not satisfied with that accomplishment, however, I decided, after spending the summer back in the United States, to return to Israel and to continue to study the Hebrew language--but this time much more intensively--at an "ulpan", or school for new immigrants in Tel Aviv. (The ulpan, which has since closed down unfortunately, was "Ulpan Meir" on King George Street in central Tel Aviv.) I reached level "hay", which is the second-to-last level in all ulpanim. It goes without saying that I can read and write Hebrew in addition to speaking it. I would be very interested to help a beginning student in the language.
General Computer, Grammar, Microsoft Word, Proofreading

Elementary Education

Grammar, Reading, Spelling, Vocabulary

English

ACT Reading,

ACT Reading

I have helped a number of high school students to prepare for the ACT English and Reading portions of the examination. I therefore know exactly what these portions of the ACT exam are all about, and I have had some success in explaining that to high-school level students in a way that, I think, simplifies the matter and makes the task of approaching the examination less daunting.
English,

English

Although my degrees from college and graduate school are not in "English", they both involved a great deal of reading and writing in the English language. In fact, it would have been impossible for me to enter upon the courses of study in which I eventually got degrees had I not possessed a firmly established set of skills in both reading and writing beforehand. That set of skills was sharpened and finely tuned by my studies in general, and by my professors--many of whom were very tough paper-graders--in particular. I continue to improve my skills in both reading and writing these days--by doing both of them as much as I can. My experience as a college instructor for many years has forced me to do this; my experience as a paper-grader in my own right--and sometimes a tough one--has made me appreciate more fully why it is so important to learn this set of skills soundly in order to live at all well. Sound reading is connected with sound writing; both are connected with sound thinking.
Writing,

Writing

I have taught Canadian and American college and university students for 12 years, and therefore have a great deal of experience reading, and correcting the writing of students at this level.
ACT English, Grammar, Literature, Proofreading, Reading, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, Spelling, Vocabulary

History

Bible Studies,

Bible Studies

I am certainly well read in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. I have taught, at the university level, the Books of Genesis, Exodus, parts of first and second Kings, and selections from the Psalms, the major and minor Prophets, and the other writings. I know Hebrew, and so can read the Old Testament, with the help of a dictionary, in the original. I know Greek too, and also with the help of a dictionary, I can read the New Testament in the original. I have taught, from the New Testament, the Gospels According to Matthew, Luke and John, the Book of Acts, Paul's Letters to the Romans and Corinthians, and portions of the Book of Revelations. I have also studied the medieval Jewish scholar Maimonides, whose works are filled with references to the so-called Old Testament as well as the Church Fathers, especially St. Augustine, whose works are filled with references to both Testaments.
Classics,

Classics

I have taught a broad array of courses in political philosophy, history, religion, and literature to college-level students at a wide variety of Canadian and American universities for 12 years. As a student of the history of political philosophy, I have a particular interest in the founders of that noble pursuit--the Greeks, specifically Socrates, who, Cicero tells us, was the first to call philosophy down from the heavens, from speculation about non-human nature, and introduce it into cities, into societies of human beings in general. The problem is that Socrates never wrote a word himself; we therefore rely principally upon two of his students--Plato and Xenophon--who did write about their teacher in order to understand what is meant or entailed by Cicero's correct observation about the man. But it turns out that Plato and Xenophon were in fact responding to another Greek who wrote about Socrates--a contemporary of that philosopher, the comic poet Aristophanes. For it turns out that Aristophanes, as Plato makes his Socrates say in the only dialogue he wrote that bears his teacher's name--The Apology of Socrates--was at least in part responsible for Socrates having incurred a bad reputation in his own lifetime, a reputation that in fact led to his being condemned to die by the city of Athens--the democratic city of Athens--when he was a tender 70 years of age. However all of this may be, it should be clear that my interest in political philosophy has led me to at least those classical figures mentioned in the previous paragraph. That, however, would not suffice as a general qualification in "Classics", as I would be the first to admit. So I must go on. From Socrates, Plato, Xenophon, and Aristophanes I have been led both backward--to the tragic poets, especially Sophocles, and Homer and Hesiod (who figure prominently throughout the Platonic dialogues, but especially in The Republic)--and forward, to Aristotle, and then ultimately the Roman philosophers, especially Lucretius, Cicero, and Seneca. So much for classical philosophy and poetry. In history, I have studied--in depth--Thucydides and Herodotus' Histories as well as Polybius, Plutarch, Livy, Sallust, Seutonius, Tacitus, and Dio Cassius. I have supplemented my study of the ancient historians themselves with more modern histories of Greece and Rome, especially of the latter. I am a particular fan of Edward Gibbon's lively, impish, and thought-provoking, "History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" as well as W.E.H. Lecky's "History of European Morals From Augustus to Charlemagne", which is very much indebted to the former.
Government & Politics,

Government & Politics

My studies, since my undergraduate days at The University of Chicago, have dealt directly, in one way or another, with questions and problems of government and politics. While I did not major in political science as an undergraduate, my course of study involved a great deal of exposure to questions of politics and government, and my bachelor's thesis supervisor was in fact a professor of political science. I did, however, go on afterward to study political science at both the master's and the doctorate level (I am "ABD"); this I did at the University of Toronto in Canada. In addition to my studies, I have taught many, many courses in political theory or philosophy, which deals with the fundamental questions animating government and politics. I started teaching such courses as a graduate student at The University of Toronto--first as a mere TA, starting in 2001, and then as an independent instructor. Since I left Toronto, I have taught courses in political science or political theory at a number of places--Kenyon College, Ashland University (both of these schools are in Ohio), St. Xavier University, and Roosevelt University.
Religion,

Religion

My studies, which have been concerned fundamentally with political philosophy--with the question of the most just, or the best, political order--have necessarily involved long and serious reflection on the questions raised or pointed to by religion. I say "necessarily" because political philosophy must--if it is to be coherent, if it is to be able to give a proper account of its own doings, if it is to be what it claims to be (reasonable)--continually encounter, reflect upon, and respond to the challenge posed by the fundamental alternative to it that is represented by religion. Philosophy and religion, reason and revelation, rational inquiry and faith--those are the fundamental alternatives. I take those fundamental alternatives very, very seriously. As far as my background, my personal background, is concerned, I was raised Catholic, Irish Catholic, in Presbyterian Scotland. In the United States, I met and ultimately ended up being sort of unofficially 'adopted' by a Jewish family. As a result of that experience, I was exposed, and then of my own accord continued to expose myself to, Judaism and the rich tradition associated with that religion. (I even lived in Israel for close to two years at one point.) I have also exposed myself quite extensively without at the same time becoming a convert to Islam. All in all, then, I have a pretty solid grasp, a pretty sound understanding of the three major monotheistic religions. I have, at various points in my teaching career, taught aspects of all three--either in courses specifically about the religion or religions in question or in courses more explicitly devoted to political philosophy but in which I nonetheless thought it helpful, even necessary, to teach one or another religious text (Genesis, for example). I recently taught a course in World Religions, and so exposed myself for the first time in more than a superficial or cursory manner to the Eastern religions--specifically, to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. I probably know more than your average person about these religions, but my knowledge about them is vastly inferior to my knowledge about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
American History, European History, Geography, World History

Homeschool

English,

English

Although my degrees from college and graduate school are not in "English", they both involved a great deal of reading and writing in the English language. In fact, it would have been impossible for me to enter upon the courses of study in which I eventually got degrees had I not possessed a firmly established set of skills in both reading and writing beforehand. That set of skills was sharpened and finely tuned by my studies in general, and by my professors--many of whom were very tough paper-graders--in particular. I continue to improve my skills in both reading and writing these days--by doing both of them as much as I can. My experience as a college instructor for many years has forced me to do this; my experience as a paper-grader in my own right--and sometimes a tough one--has made me appreciate more fully why it is so important to learn this set of skills soundly in order to live at all well. Sound reading is connected with sound writing; both are connected with sound thinking.
Writing,

Writing

I have taught Canadian and American college and university students for 12 years, and therefore have a great deal of experience reading, and correcting the writing of students at this level.
Reading, SAT Reading, Spelling

Language

German,

German

I have studied German, on and off, for more than 25 years. I wrote my Master's thesis on the political philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, and I have translated a number of the works of 20th century Jewish-German philosopher, Leo Strauss.
Hebrew

Hebrew

After I finished university, I moved to Israel to attend a non-degree program in Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University. In preparation for that move, I began to study modern Hebrew during my last quarter at The University of Chicago. Once in Israel, I continued to take Hebrew, and progressed quickly to the stage of advanced beginner/intermediate within a matter of months. Not satisfied with that accomplishment, however, I decided, after spending the summer back in the United States, to return to Israel and to continue to study the Hebrew language--but this time much more intensively--at an "ulpan", or school for new immigrants in Tel Aviv. (The ulpan, which has since closed down unfortunately, was "Ulpan Meir" on King George Street in central Tel Aviv.) I reached level "hay", which is the second-to-last level in all ulpanim. It goes without saying that I can read and write Hebrew in addition to speaking it. I would be very interested to help a beginning student in the language.

Most Popular

English,

English

Although my degrees from college and graduate school are not in "English", they both involved a great deal of reading and writing in the English language. In fact, it would have been impossible for me to enter upon the courses of study in which I eventually got degrees had I not possessed a firmly established set of skills in both reading and writing beforehand. That set of skills was sharpened and finely tuned by my studies in general, and by my professors--many of whom were very tough paper-graders--in particular. I continue to improve my skills in both reading and writing these days--by doing both of them as much as I can. My experience as a college instructor for many years has forced me to do this; my experience as a paper-grader in my own right--and sometimes a tough one--has made me appreciate more fully why it is so important to learn this set of skills soundly in order to live at all well. Sound reading is connected with sound writing; both are connected with sound thinking.
Writing,

Writing

I have taught Canadian and American college and university students for 12 years, and therefore have a great deal of experience reading, and correcting the writing of students at this level.
Reading

Other

Bible Studies,

Bible Studies

I am certainly well read in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. I have taught, at the university level, the Books of Genesis, Exodus, parts of first and second Kings, and selections from the Psalms, the major and minor Prophets, and the other writings. I know Hebrew, and so can read the Old Testament, with the help of a dictionary, in the original. I know Greek too, and also with the help of a dictionary, I can read the New Testament in the original. I have taught, from the New Testament, the Gospels According to Matthew, Luke and John, the Book of Acts, Paul's Letters to the Romans and Corinthians, and portions of the Book of Revelations. I have also studied the medieval Jewish scholar Maimonides, whose works are filled with references to the so-called Old Testament as well as the Church Fathers, especially St. Augustine, whose works are filled with references to both Testaments.
Government & Politics,

Government & Politics

My studies, since my undergraduate days at The University of Chicago, have dealt directly, in one way or another, with questions and problems of government and politics. While I did not major in political science as an undergraduate, my course of study involved a great deal of exposure to questions of politics and government, and my bachelor's thesis supervisor was in fact a professor of political science. I did, however, go on afterward to study political science at both the master's and the doctorate level (I am "ABD"); this I did at the University of Toronto in Canada. In addition to my studies, I have taught many, many courses in political theory or philosophy, which deals with the fundamental questions animating government and politics. I started teaching such courses as a graduate student at The University of Toronto--first as a mere TA, starting in 2001, and then as an independent instructor. Since I left Toronto, I have taught courses in political science or political theory at a number of places--Kenyon College, Ashland University (both of these schools are in Ohio), St. Xavier University, and Roosevelt University.
Religion,

Religion

My studies, which have been concerned fundamentally with political philosophy--with the question of the most just, or the best, political order--have necessarily involved long and serious reflection on the questions raised or pointed to by religion. I say "necessarily" because political philosophy must--if it is to be coherent, if it is to be able to give a proper account of its own doings, if it is to be what it claims to be (reasonable)--continually encounter, reflect upon, and respond to the challenge posed by the fundamental alternative to it that is represented by religion. Philosophy and religion, reason and revelation, rational inquiry and faith--those are the fundamental alternatives. I take those fundamental alternatives very, very seriously. As far as my background, my personal background, is concerned, I was raised Catholic, Irish Catholic, in Presbyterian Scotland. In the United States, I met and ultimately ended up being sort of unofficially 'adopted' by a Jewish family. As a result of that experience, I was exposed, and then of my own accord continued to expose myself to, Judaism and the rich tradition associated with that religion. (I even lived in Israel for close to two years at one point.) I have also exposed myself quite extensively without at the same time becoming a convert to Islam. All in all, then, I have a pretty solid grasp, a pretty sound understanding of the three major monotheistic religions. I have, at various points in my teaching career, taught aspects of all three--either in courses specifically about the religion or religions in question or in courses more explicitly devoted to political philosophy but in which I nonetheless thought it helpful, even necessary, to teach one or another religious text (Genesis, for example). I recently taught a course in World Religions, and so exposed myself for the first time in more than a superficial or cursory manner to the Eastern religions--specifically, to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. I probably know more than your average person about these religions, but my knowledge about them is vastly inferior to my knowledge about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Geography

Summer

German,

German

I have studied German, on and off, for more than 25 years. I wrote my Master's thesis on the political philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, and I have translated a number of the works of 20th century Jewish-German philosopher, Leo Strauss.
Writing,

Writing

I have taught Canadian and American college and university students for 12 years, and therefore have a great deal of experience reading, and correcting the writing of students at this level.
Reading

Test Preparation

ACT Reading,

ACT Reading

I have helped a number of high school students to prepare for the ACT English and Reading portions of the examination. I therefore know exactly what these portions of the ACT exam are all about, and I have had some success in explaining that to high-school level students in a way that, I think, simplifies the matter and makes the task of approaching the examination less daunting.
ACT English, SAT Reading, SAT Writing

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$30/hour

Gabriel B.

$30/hour

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