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Currently, I'm a student in Northwestern University's Class of 2016, working towards a BA in Theatre. I mostly focus on stage management and scenic design, and love working with my hands. My past tutoring experience is in both Mandarin Chinese and Shakespeare, but I'm also happy to tutor math up through single-variable calculus, and the ACT. Being a theatre major, I of course love teaching Shakespeare, especially since I've found that a lot of people don't really know how to engage with it. But there's a whole world of depth and complexity to explore in his works, and helping students open that door has been very rewarding for me.

I believe that the key to learning effectively is to want to learn. That sounds a bit trite, but I've found that when students don't see any value in the material itself, they don't see any value in learning it. But all material has value. I find that it's very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the only value that can be derived from a subject is direct application. This is why, for instance, so many students ask their math teachers, "When am I ever going to need this?" But the value of learning complex math, beyond its inherent beauty, is that students learn problem solving skills. Large, seemingly intractable problems can be reduced to several smaller, more manageable problems. This is true of differential equations, and it is true of getting a job. Find an opening. Write a resume. Write a cover letter. Go to an interview. Several smaller, manageable tasks coalesce into the conquering of one larger task. I want to challenge students to find the value in everything, even if it's something they hate, because even those things have something to teach us. Why do you hate it? What, specifically, do you dislike about this material? Why does that bother you, and how do you think it could be improved? Critical engagement allows us to grow, intellectually and personally, and I think it's important to help students embrace that.

Outside of tutoring and my studies as a theatre major, I'm fascinated by both design and online media, particularly as it pertains to online video and community building. My work as a set designer has gotten me very interested in interior design and architecture. I discovered that what I really liked about building sets was getting to create a space that felt real, and I've been trying to find a way to branch out into that world a little more. In terms of online video, I watch a lot of YouTube videos from a small collection of channels. There's a company called Rooster Teeth that operates a handful of channels as well as their own community site that I've been following for eight years or so. It's been incredible to watch them move from eight guys in an apartment making funny videos to becoming a company that employs upwards of 70 people and just recently became the most funded film on Indiegogo since the platform's inception. They've always been funny guys making quality content, but their real strength lies in their community engagement. It's fascinating to me that we now live in an age where people from around the world can come together through the internet and share a love of something, and then directly contribute to the creation of that thing. In a really beautiful way, the internet is bringing people together, and I just think it's incredible to watch.

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Nikolaj’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Northwestern University - Bachelor in Arts, Theatre

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 36

ACT English: 35

ACT Math: 35

ACT Reading: 36

ACT Science: 36


Theatre, design, online entertainment

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