Teaching at the university level has enlightened me to the learning modes of both high school and college students. As an instructor of Freshman composition at Baruch College and Brooklyn College, I taught essay writing to students who were in an in-between state: not quite full-fledged college students, but eagerly ready to leave high school and its rote ways of thinking behind. In the first weeks at Baruch, I realized something very important: we are always a little in-between places, and we do not altogether leave the "old" house when we move into the "new." I increasingly understood teaching to be less about the introduction of new knowledge, then creative ways of re-appropriating what we already know. In short, I became a fan of recycling, finding out what my students knew (always a surprising amount), what worked for them, and then coming up with improved ways of merging those effective strategies (at writing an essay with a thesis statement, for instance) with what were time-tested and worked well for me.
As a tutor for standardized tests, I do the same, but also draw upon specific literary-minded questions that I asked on a routine basis as an Instructor of World Literature. The one I think is most relevant to the SAT and other standardized tests asks, "what is the author not merely saying with his or her words, but doing with them"? When we put ourselves in the shoes of the test-writers, not just the shoes of the test-taker, a lot becomes really clear about how to succeed at taking tests without really trying (so hard). This said, I am also a believer that the amount of time you put into anything is proportionate with the results, and study really does pay off when it comes to APs and SATs. Study can also be fun, and I make an emphasis on how a slight change in approach to the materials covered on these tests can transform hours of drudgery into a playful, good time.
I come from a background in academia where I was a Ph.D. student in English Literature (CUNY) and editor. It goes without saying that I love literature! Some of my favorite works are Moby-Dick, the poems of Gwendolyn Brooks and Emily Dickinson, the lyrics of Bob Dylan, and anything by James Baldwin, Kurt Vonnegut, or James Joyce. I hail from the Midwest where I earned a BA with Honors from the University of Michigan and studied Englisn Literature and American History. In Ann Arbor, I also honed my historical trivia when I competed on academic bowl, which is like Jeopardy, but with teams.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Michigan - Bachelors, English, History
Writing, painting, watching silent movies, collecting postcards, all things pertaining to the environment.
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
AP Art History
AP US History
College Level American History
College Level American Literature
College World History
GRE Subject Test in Literature in English
GRE Subject Tests
High School English
High School Level American History
High School Level American Literature
High School World History
High School Writing
Introduction to Poetry
The Modern World
US Constitutional History