I am endlessly curious about people's varied and complex experiences, perspectives, and philosophies, and thus have spent a good part of my life in academia, earning a Bachelor's degree from Vassar College and Master's degrees from NYU and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
From 2015-2020, I was a teaching assistant for a range of courses spanning Comparative Literature, Communication Arts, Folklore Studies, and Beginning Russian.
From my long-standing roles as both an instructor and a student, I know that teaching does not lie only in imparting specific knowledge. I help students succeed in their area of study by making sure they understand underlying methodologies and can build their skills through guided practice. Thus, they can carry what they learned beyond their short-term goals and truly get something lasting from my teaching. Likewise, I know that students' confidence and motivation makes a huge difference in the learning process; I care deeply about these factors and thus make sure to be a patient and supportive mentor, to engage students in their subject and encourage them throughout their progress.
Being a teaching assistant was an amazing experience, but the most rewarding moments happened during my office hours when I could connect with students on a more personal level and together, work through their individual questions or concerns with the kind of depth and thoroughness that would not be viable in a time-restricted, twenty-five person class. Being there to celebrate a student's breakthroughs and seeing firsthand how far a student could come in a single semester showed me just how much difference these one-on-one sessions can make. I want to be the one to make it happen!
I specialize in literature and writing about literature - how to engage with a text, how to analyze it, and how to formulate one's own original ideas into a convincing, compelling essay. Much of my work was with college freshmen, so I am especially aware of the difficulties commonly encountered at that stage as students must strive to meet new, more rigorous expectations; whether you are looking to do well in college or just want to impress your high school teachers, I can offer an insider's perspective on that important transitionary stage and help you level up!
The subjects I most enjoy tutoring are creative writing and Russian language. Both are highly focused on students specific interests; thus students are invested in what they want to say and I can learn from them and about them. That makes it a wonderful, rewarding experience for us both.
Creative Writing is something I consider to be mentoring rather than teaching, as it is the student who knows the most about the work they write - whether it's about the motivations of the characters, the particular associations and emotions that a line is intended to carry over, or anything else. Often, it takes questions to uncover these bits of secret knowledge, and the answers may not come right away. But when they finally do, it is such a privilege to be there as the short story or a poem takes shape, or falls into place, or suddenly develops a twist that even the student, the creative writer, did not expect! In the months before the pandemic, I've had the amazing opportunity to tutor creative writing at the 8th grade level, and will be happy to provide guidance to creative writers of any age!
As for Russian, learning a foreign language is a gargantuan task if you want to do it well, but it's fascinating to think that so much of it can be defined with just an alphabet, a dictionary, and a list of grammar rules. Seeing these three elements come together into full-fledged ideas from students who had no knowledge of the language before is incredible - we can see just how far we can go with just a few basics of the language. Learning a foreign language is also a physical task insofar as one needs to produce the sounds well enough to be understood, or even to better pass for a native speaker. As a bilingual speaker of Russian and English, I am well positioned to understand the different nuances of each language's sounds and explain the mechanics of the pronunciation to enhance how good you sound. Language study allows an entire world of expression to open up before you. While the direction of study is always up to the student, I can make this especially rewarding by sharing music, movies, or stories so that you can explore the culture using the language skills you've gained.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Vassar College - Bachelor in Arts, English
Graduate Degree: New York University - Master of Arts, Humanities
I love Argentine tango, the dancing, the music, and the communities that are built around it. I started learning in 2014 and have since hosted and DJed a few small events amongst friends. Nowadays I spend my time drinking tea while learning Japanese, discovering new music, watching weird movies, catching up on the literary works I've missed before, playing guitar and piano, and keeping in touch with friends and family.
College Level American Literature
High School English
High School Level American Literature
Introduction to Poetry