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Thomas

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I love literature and reading and writing -- they've been central to my life since early childhood -- and I hope as a tutor not only to help students improve their skills in these areas but to instill in them a similar kind of lifelong affection for these pursuits. I believe that reading and writing are key not only to enjoying a broadly fulfilling and exciting life but also to performing effectively in virtually any kind of serious job.

As a kid, my dream was to become a writer of fiction -- novels and stories -- and I majored in English and creative writing in college. But then it was literature that led my life to take a different, unexpected path. At Princeton, I had to write a senior thesis, and the topic I chose was native American prose literature -- novels, poems and other writings that hugely enhanced the love of nature and wilderness that I had already acquired through hiking and camping trips with my father. Instead of wanting to write fiction, I became an environmental advocate, and wanted to write about wilderness and environmental issues. So, I moved from the East Coast to Montana for graduate school, where I studied wilderness and wildlife management issues and earned a Master's degree in natural resource conservation.

For decades ever since I have made my living primarily as a communicator, through writing as well as public speaking. Every job I've had depended on my ability to write well, from working as an editor of technical research papers for the US Forest Service; as communications director for an environmental protection group; as a press secretary in a Presidential campaign; as an international publicist for a PR firm in New York City; as an aide in the Montana Governor's Office; and as a self-employed lobbyist and campaign manager for numerous large corporations and small nonprofit groups. I also taught public and media relations at Carroll College in Montana and have done a fair amount of freelance writing along the way, with essays published in diverse outlets including Western Wildlands, the Journal of Soil & Water Conservation, Range magazine and Playboy.

My love of reading and literature has never ceased. I am always reading at least one good book at a time, and I still write almost daily. On the side, I recently have edited two books for publication and have written several grant proposals. I look forward to sharing my passion for learning with students through the Varsity Tutors program.

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Thomas’ Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Princeton University - Bachelor in Arts, English Composition

Undergraduate Degree: Princeton University - Bachelor in Arts, Creative Writing

Graduate Degree: The University of Montana - Master of Science, Natural Resources and Conservation

Hobbies

I'm interested in virtually everything, and I read widely about a diverse array of topics, from politics and literature and art to science, natural and human history, and "think pieces" of all kinds. People often tell me they find me interesting, and this might be one reason why. I enjoy a bunch of hobbies, too. I like cooking because I like eating. I like growing flowers and vegetables. I also enjoy outdoor recreation such as hiking and swimming -- and turning the pages of a good book while sitting in the sun (or shade). But my biggest hobby other than reading is painting, a hobby I too often didn't have time for until recently. I'm entirely self-taught, and often don't like my paintings, but I love the process of trying. I also very much enjoy good movies, perhaps especially old "noirs" from the 40s and 50s.

Tutoring Subjects

College English

English

English Grammar and Syntax

Essay Editing

High School English

High School Writing

Writing

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