I always did well in school but rarely played by the book. This seems to be a theme in my life, refusing to accept the world just as it is presented to me. I am a kind of person who tends to make life harder on themselves because I cannot seem to bend my will to fit the mainstream. In academic settings my visual learning disability necessitated that I find success in creative outlets and work more closely with my teachers (I was always doing alternative projects that could demonstrate my knowledge of the material). Another example might be my gender, which I have found over the past several years to be neither male nor female (talk about uninterrogated mainstreams). I have found tremendous joy, peace of mind, and perhaps even success in accepting these way of being and adapting to embrace them.
I went to a performing arts High school where I studied theater, Music and all the regular requirements. I have been fluent in Spanish since age 10 thanks to my Cuban father's efforts in assimilating my brother and I. Toward the end of high school I was mostly taking classes at Amherst College and volunteering as a teaching assistant for the pre-GED class at an adult basic education center. I spent one spring at a Quaker semester program in California. I was raised Quaker and as such many of the most important experiences in my life have been facilitated through Quaker programs. I was very lucky after High School (as we know college admittance is a crap shoot)to be accepted early decision to Wesleyan University, where I continued to pursue Theater as a playwright. In college I was a tutor for creative non-fiction classes. I also gained a lot of experience workshopping various written forms in group and one on one settings. As a writer I have learned that good writing is mostly about editing and revising. I have come to love helping others through the sometimes heart breaking process of uncovering what they were really meaning to say. It is so important to have another set of eyes seeing what you may be too close to your writing to see.
learning well is about knowing oneself. You have to trust your gut in order to learn about what you need to engaged with a subject. Learning is not easy. It is not a science. Sometime there will be things that just won't stick in your head. But you can have support and someone to keep you on track and keep you motivated.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Wesleyan University - Bachelors, Theater
making theater, playing music, Quakerism, building stuff
What is your teaching philosophy?
It depends on the student! That is to say, I will meet you where you are.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
We have to get comfortable, but I will be sure to ask you about your concerns and hopes regarding the subject we'll be covering so that I can get a good understanding of your relationship to the material.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Independent doesn't mean alone.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
It depends, but I might move to a different concept and come back to where you got stuck later. Sometimes, we just need a little time to let it sink in.