Hi! My name is Nicholas, but you can call me that or Nic - it's really up to you, I don't mind either way. Hopefully you're enjoying the nice weather so far this summer~!
I'm a second year student at Columbia University this coming year, currently looking to continue studying Japanese and Mandarin Chinese languages. Although my test scores don't make it seem this way, I actually excel in my studies, and beyond that I truly adore learning languages!
I've been studying French and Japanese since middle school, and Mandarin Chinese since high school - and I have a long list of others I hope one day I will be able to give my time and attention to.
Since then i've come to love almost every subject I've taken - especially history, life and environmental sciences, and language courses - and I look to learn as much as I can no matter what I'm doing.
Being such a big language and history nerd, I love exploring and learning about places and hearing stories from people. Biking and walking around a new place really gets me excited! So does talking to new people, reading about new topics, and trying new foods. I also love swimming and playing chess or ultimate frisbee, although I'm not particularly good at any of those.
The nice thing is no matter how good or bad - or practiced or unpracticed, rather! - I am at something, there is always learning involved, both a little from myself and a lot from others. And I really do enjoy this about my life.
That being said, I didn't used to. Or at least i hadn't realized it yet as a younger student. I like to tell people that the moment I realized I loved learning was when I found myself looking forward every day to my social studies class in 7th grade - and not because my friends were in that class too! Learning about people, about how ways people speak to each other, about history those were the first things I knew I wanted to understand. Next came the natural sciences, and, a little behind the languages I study, English / Language Arts. Now, as a college student looking back over many years of sitting in a classroom learning, I can see how much of my life has been dedicated to learning and studying and developing, not just coursework, but hobbies, interests, and personal awareness.
I now can see many things about what learning means to me that I couldn't as a 6th grader trying to pay attention in Mr. Lord's Tech Ed class. For instance, everything I do and will ever do requires learning: names, faces, words, directions, skills, techniques, modes of communication. And learning itself requires practice, in some way, over time, until the goal - understanding, bound up in an achievable package - is reached.
Above all of this, though, I know I am most grateful for my teachers - anyone who has helped me learn, from my parents and friends, to my actual instructors. The people who have taught me were some of the most kind, considerate, understanding, and accommodating people. Thanks to them I was able to discover not just what I love to learn, but that I love to learn itself. And the understanding I have of the world and myself, as it changes and develops, is supported and influenced by their efforts.
I am lucky and privileged to have had the experiences I had. Now, I love teaching, too. I want to give others the respect, the care, and the help they need and deserve.
This has become most important to me as I learn myself each day. When I help others, I don't just want to see them, as students, succeed; I want to give them, as citizens in a large world, a chance to develop their senses of self and of that world, and to discover what they enjoy in learning itself.
Nicholas M.’s Qualifications
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Columbia University in the City of New York - Bachelor in Arts, East Asian Studies
Language learning, exploring/walking/biking, swimming, chess, listening to music, trying new food