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Learning is both an objective and a subjective experience. Objectively, students are required by the state of Michigan to learn, to be educated. Principally, they learn to read and to write because illiteracy is deemed by the State not only a detriment to the achievement of personal goals but also to the achievement of professional goals; which consequently, directly or indirectly, affect society. Therefore, students go to school and learn the required academic subjects; however, learning is also a subjective experience.
When a subject becomes personalized, when it is personally interesting to a student, it becomes more than an academic requirement; it becomes a seed, a seed that plants itself into the heart and mind of the student. This growing seed has endless potential. Although this interest (subject) seed is only one small seed among many possible seeds, it is the student’s unique choice. In many ways, this seed is no different than the seed that uniquely scripted the student’s DNA. It is one component of many components that defines a student’s total complexion. In the same manner DNA determines a student’s eye and hair color, a student’s interest is uniquely innate. If nurtured properly, it will grow and develop and could possibly provide answers to tomorrow’s questions.
Thus, literacy, in its true sense, is liberty. Being literate, being able to read and write, enables students to think, and to think, to contemplate life, to examine difficult subjects, affords them the freedom to respond, to voice their opinions, to enter the multiple conversations within society, those to which, subjectively, they want to learn and investigate, those that most interest them and perhaps help them to achieve their personal and professional goals.
Thus, the subject and study of the English language have been lifelong (subjective) interests of mine, which is why I pursued and acquired a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from the University of Michigan – Dearborn and a Master of Arts degree in English literature (with additional coursework toward a PhD in Composition) from Wayne State University, and which is why I taught college English for twenty years, and which is why after retiring as a college English professor, not only have I decided to continue to write, but also why I have decided to offer my services as a writing consultant, vis-à-vis tutor, at Varsity Tutors.
As an English composition instructor, I taught a variety of English courses ranging from basic writing and grammar to Honors composition. Thus, I can teach ‘Varsity Tutor’ students to compose their personal and professional thoughts, ideas, and assignments into essays, stories, or technical documents. It is important to note that writing begins somewhere (idea, inspiration, assignment) and ends somewhere (essay, poem, novel, report). Thus, writing is a process. Furthermore, good writing does not happen overnight.
While there are gifted writers, most skilled writers were not born as such. Good writers practice. In the same way that most life-skills are acquired through hard work, such as learning to ride a bicycle or to bake a soufflé, writing too is a learned skill, which is why students should practice. Rome was neither built in a day nor are good writers built in one practice session; however, the good news is that writing is worth the time and effort. The outcomes—growing as a writer and producing effective, accurate, and meaningful literature is a worthy endeavor.

Colleen’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: The Universit of Michigan Dearborn - Bachelors, English literature

Graduate Degree: Wayne State University - Masters, English literature



Tutoring Subjects

Adult Literacy

American Literature


Business Writing

College English

College Level American Literature

Creative Writing


English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

Expository Writing

Fiction Writing

Introduction to Poetry

Technical Writing

Technology and Computer Science