Allow me to quickly describe my own educational history. I attended Santa Clara University directly out of high school because Dad, my adoptive father, thought I'd make a good engineer like himself; this was mostly because I had a superior aptitude for math and was pretty good at drawing and computer programming, at least for that time. I attended school there for a year and a term before I began experiencing health problems--since resolved--and tried to switch to performing arts, and my pa... [more]
I showed an aptitude for math at an early age, so I was chosen, along with other Talented and Gifted students, to take the SAT exam, the results of which showed that my understanding of math as an eighth-grader surpassed that of the average college-bound senior. My math education extends to differential calculus, including algebra 1 & 2, of course, as well as (behavioral) statistics. Regardless, I try to tailor each lesson with the student's own perspective and level of knowledge foremost in mind in order to present a fresh, creative, and relatable approach.
At Portland Community College, I took the general biology series and anatomy and physiology series courses. (I later took the latter a second time through Mount Hood Community College for all 'A's.) I also took a genes and genomes course for biology majors at Pacific University. Neuroscience is a passionate interest of mine, but I have found most areas of biology fascinating. I think it's amazing to discover how we - and our distant biological relatives - function, from the systems to the cellular and microscopic levels. My area of focus for the future is physical therapy, with an emphasis on neuro. In utilizing my other skills as a tutor, I will be happy to contribute whatever knowledge and study skills I have acquired that have helped to see me through my own years of biology-related education.
I was fortunate enough to be somewhat of a prodigy during my early school years, being chosen to participate in Arizona State University's Project for the Study of Academic Precocity in 1983, and, as an eighth-grader, scoring higher on all sections of the SAT than the average, (American) male college-bound twelfth-grader (that year). So, for me, math came easily early on. Nevertheless, I eventually chose to focus on writing as I grew older, and I came more and more to appreciate the fact that some people--including my own kids--struggle with one or more math concepts. The approach that has worked for me is trying my best to view a problem from the student's perspective and, from there, figure out how best to understand, conceptualize or, perhaps, visualize, and solve each problem while working with the strengths and limitations of comprehension and processing unique to that individual. In short, I always strive to make each lesson personable and fun somehow... yes, even math. And I learned from my first college Calculus professor that even a math instructor can be funny and upbeat. Thank you in advance. I look forward to the opportunity to help in some way.
I have used Excel on a regular basis for my own personal needs, both as a student and as a responsible member of my household and family. I have found there is often something new and exciting to learn about the application and its many uses. In the past, when I found I was unable to employ some feature I wished to incorporate into my spreadsheet/project, I simply persisted in searching for the answer--or even, at times, resorted to trying different things, until I finally found the means to do it. I suppose one could say I approach my lessons in the same way: If I don't immediately know the answer to a question, I will first admit that I don't know, then start searching for clues to that answer (and subsequently attempt to verify what I find), and I won't give up until I can provide a satisfactory response to the question at hand.
I've used Microsoft Word quite often for my own writing, both in school and outside of it. That is, I consider myself competent in its use. That said, there may still be features I'm unfamiliar with, but in such a case I would apply the same strategy I use any time I don't immediately know how to solve a particular question or problem: If I don't immediately know of a solution, (after brainstorming a bit) I will first admit that I don't know, then start searching for clues to a solution (and subsequently attempt to verify what I find), and I won't give up until I can provide a satisfactory response and/or solution to the problem at hand. That is, when it comes to solving a problem upon which I am focused, I am, in a word, tenacious. This trait has often worked in favor of my previous clients and employers.
My adoptive father's side of the family came to America from Bolivia, and I began learning Spanish--especially the Spanish accent--at a young age by "trading" words with my grandmother, who never truly learned to speak English. I took four years of high school Spanish and one year of college Spanish. In an effort to maintain my Spanish language skills, I converse with Spanish speakers with whom I come into regular contact. In recent months, I was fortunate enough to be able to engage one of my mother's full-time caregivers in this way. I have also participated in Spanish/English conversation groups. I once helped my own children (and stepchildren) with their high school Spanish lessons. Lately, I am doing some written translation of what I would call moderately-difficult (or complex) written Spanish for an acquaintance. This has proved to be ensure my (high-intermediate) Spanish skills stay sharp and continue to improve.
I showed an aptitude for math at an early age, so I was chosen, along with other Talented and Gifted students, to take the SAT exam, the results of which showed that my understanding of math as an eighth-grader surpassed that of the average college-bound senior. My math education extends to differential calculus, including trigonometry, of course, as well as (behavioral) statistics. Regardless, I try to tailor each lesson with the student's own perspective and level of knowledge foremost in mind in order to present a fresh, creative, and relatable approach.
Writing has long been a hobby of mine. I've taken both fiction and creative nonfiction writing courses, and I've been a regularly contributing member of Writing.com since 2006. As with other subjects, I try to keep the lessons fresh and engaging for the student. Even so, I've found a reluctant writer can be a "tough nut to crack." I will try any reasonable approach in an effort to coax my student to practice communicating effectively, maintaining that the initial goal is to simply be understood, leaving the fine tuning for later. Even in writing, I've found a tactile approach can help to stimulate thinking and ideas. (One method I used in homeschooling was writing single sentences on index cards and moving them around with clothespins on a "clothesline" to involve the student in choosing the best order before writing a short book summary.) At the most basic level, writing starts with good communication, which includes a reasonable grasp on vocabulary (most of which can be learned through word roots, prefixes, and suffixes), followed by "common" sense grammar and spelling (although any misspelled word can be Spell-checked or at least looked up). (I encourage each student to refer to a dictionary or Answers.com for spellings and definitions.) As with other subjects, I try to keep the lessons fresh and engaging for the student. Of course, a greater number and variety of subtleties come into play upon examining writing at a more advanced level. Yet, at its core, all good writing comes down to mastering the art of good communication. Contrary to the apparent belief of many writing students--and some rather successful authors, for that matter--the best phrases are not the most complex or those that display the most advanced vocabularies. On the contrary, the best phrases are those that most directly and clearly communicate the concepts the author wishes to express.
Statistics can certainly appear to be a daunting subject. I know many of my fellow students in college would not have taken the subject if it wasn't required of each of them to attain their desired degree. Since I was a student of psychology--and interested in research--I took not only behavioral statistics but research methods (which puts to use many of the concepts presented in behavior statistics), as well. The trick with statistics is to figure out what the problem is, i.e., to get a universal picture of the problem and the concepts involved, and then to figure out the particular statistical figure(s) that will provide the solution to that problem, , to do the math, naturally... and, finally, to once again translate those numbers into a universal picture--into something you can understand and explain, if necessary, to another individual or as a written explanation on a test. (Often even a multiple choice statistics test--if it's a good one--will require a general understanding of what the numbers involved in a statistics problem would mean in a real-world situation.) I think the best test of this ability I've ever heard is asking yourself this simple question: 'How would I explain this to a 6-year-old?' (or something like that!)
One term of my final year at Pacific University, I served as a mentor to about a dozen general psychology students. I was responsible for grading designated assignments and answering any questions they might have about my marks. I was also responsible for holding office hours one day each week, in case one or more students needed help understanding a current assignment or studying for an upcoming exam. I relished the experience and, although I certainly had enough homework of my own to occupy my time, I gave each of my mentees' papers my fullest attention and, even when it was no longer required of me, left detailed comments for the student to follow to improve both his/her paper writing (which included APA citations) and grade.
I have been through the entire anatomy and physiology series--twice. In fact, I just finished my second round in readying myself to apply for physical therapy school next year. If your student has some questions or problems regarding anatomy, I'm sure I could help him or her address them. And if the solution didn't present itself immediately, I'm sure we could both benefit from researching it together. Human biology is a subtly complex and fascinating science. It's a contagious fascination, one I'd be somewhat surprised if your student didn't catch.
In 2004-2005, despite maintaining a full-time job and family life--not to mention being an active National Guard medic -- I managed to satisfactorily complete Anatomy and Physiology courses along with the rest of my PCC courses. I coordinated several study groups throughout that time (and I'd like to think I helped a few fellow students perform better on at least a few of their exam questions than they would have otherwise). In the years since, I've had the fortune to review, apply, and further that knowledge for school and work, and through some leisure reading and research, too. It would be a pleasure to be able to assist and reinforce yet another A&P student's education while deepening my own connections to the material. Among all of the subjects offered through WyzAnt, this is probably one of the most intriguingly complex and most relevant to obtaining a future medical-related career. To a student in need of help, I could offer rejuvenating enthusiasm, intense interest, a degree of experience, and a personable understanding (and patience for getting that understanding across). I look forward to hearing from you.
Having taken the SAT exam for the first time in the eighth grade, my exposure to and knowledge of the SAT spans several years. The way the SAT is written measures not only one's grasp of the area being tested but it also, in large part, one's test-taking skills. An SAT Math review would necessarily involve some discussion and pointers regarding strategies for maximizing one's test scores. My math education extends to differential calculus as well as (behavioral) statistics. Regardless, I try to tailor each lesson with the student's own perspective and level of knowledge foremost in mind in order to present a fresh, creative, and relatable approach.
Although I earned my high school diploma the conventional way, I respect all individuals who are willing to strive to earn their GEDs on their own. I would be very enthusiastic about helping such a student reach his or her academic goals. I, myself, am proficient in the general subjects (and at least competent in certain others, such as psychology), and I will pass on whatever knowledge and learning habits/techniques I can for my students to use. My approach is somewhat informal, because this encourages student-tutor familiarity, which I feel is the best strategy for me to discover how a student thinks and to tailor my problem-solving strategies to fit the individual's ways of perceiving and resolving both the academic and real-world problems they face. My end objective is that the student walks away from each lesson feeling somewhat relaxed, challenged, and rewarded... and perhaps just a bit hungry for more, whether (s)he is willing to admit it or not!
Having taken the SAT exam for the first time in the eighth grade, my exposure to and knowledge of the SAT spans several years. The way the SAT is written measures not only one's grasp of the area being tested but it also, in large part, one's test-taking skills. An SAT Writing review would necessarily involve some discussion and pointers regarding strategies for maximizing one's test scores. At the most basic level, writing starts with good communication, which includes a reasonable grasp on vocabulary (most of which can be learned through word roots, prefixes, and suffixes), followed by "common" sense grammar and spelling (although any misspelled word can be Spell-checked or at least looked up). (I encourage each student to refer to a dictionary or Answers.com for spellings and definitions.) As with other subjects, I try to keep the lessons fresh and engaging for the student.
After I took the ASVAB myself in 2001 before entering the Army National Guard, I was told I had earned the highest possible score on the test one can earn, a 99 (which I responded to with disbelief, and I'll admit my certification score, though passing, was not quite as high--proof that one should always, always review one's own answers before submitting one's test). I suppose my arguably competent knowledge in a variety of areas helped me perform so well in 2001. I would approach ASVAB instruction much as I would preparation for another type of test. I would not only review the areas tested for, but I would also discuss test-taking strategies to help the student maximize his or her score and minimize errors due to nervousness and/or failing to double-check one's answers.
I understand what it means to be frustrated with one's reading ability. Although I am not afflicted with a reading disability, I struggled for years with my slow reading speed. It wasn't until I took a college course on how the mind works (Cognitive Psychology) that I successfully taught myself how to speed-read. I use a very simple method I can teach anyone within a single, short lesson (although it must be practiced in order to maintain and sharpen the skill)... and, contrary to what one might expect, this method of reading faster actually INCREASES rather than decreases one's comprehension and recall. As with other subjects, I try to keep the lessons fresh and engaging for the student. Especially, I think, when it comes to reading, it is important to get to know my student and his or her interests, and/or likes and dislikes. I will strive to find, among any potentially available source, suitable reading materials aligned with the student's individual needs and personality. And I am dedicated to providing lessons the student will find engaging, reinforcing, and rewarding.
At the most basic level, writing starts with good communication, which includes a reasonable grasp on vocabulary (most of which can be learned through word roots, prefixes, and suffixes), followed by "common" sense grammar and spelling (although any misspelled word can be Spell-checked or at least looked up). (I encourage each student to refer to a dictionary or Answers.com for spellings and definitions.) As with other subjects, I try to keep the lessons fresh and engaging for the student.
I showed something of an aptitude for math at an early age. I enjoy tutoring in general, but since math seems to be a natural skill of mine, I feel I can be of great benefit to students by showing them different ways to look at problems and to gradually instill ease and confidence in them. Each lesson should be approached with the student's own perspective and level of knowledge foremost in mind; the more I get to know a particular student, the more I try to make each lesson interesting and creative--even fun--to help weaken their misgivings of the subject and strengthen their grasp of its concepts.
I homeschooled my stepson during, essentially, his entire eighth-grade year, tailoring a new lesson plan for him each week as his expanded curriculum, including science, progressed. As with other subjects, I try to keep the lessons fresh and engaging for the student. With my stepson, I discovered a book of unconventional yet quite educational experiments which we performed once a week to supplement his science reading and questions. These experiments became, for both of us, our most memorable moments during the school year. I invest myself in finding ways such as this to keep my student intrigued, engaged, and entertained... perhaps without ever realizing (s)he is learning something!
I have experience working with school-age children through my employment a number of years ago with Kindercare child care. I was also greatly involved in my own daughter's academic welfare since she was enrolled in elementary school.
I generally try to pass on those study skills and strategies I?ve found useful myself?while adjusting the complexity of the strategies I provide to match the student?s cognitive level. Some strategies I have explored are speed-reading (my own simple method, based on the frontal lobe visual register? simply put, I follow along using my finger or other pointer to pace myself comfortably fast), aural and visual mnemonics (the Socratic ?method of loci? is an example of the latter), mind mapping, shorthand note-taking (where practical, based on medical, mathematic-pictorial, &/or informal shorthand), and test-taking strategies to maximize scoring and minimize distracted/rushed errors and nervousness. When appropriate, I will address the study skills directly; however, I also try to both encourage them and lead by example during all lessons, incorporating various tips and demonstrations that make each lesson a little interesting and ?easier? (read: efficient and effective)! In short, I believe all learning, most especially lessons regarding study skills, is maximized when it occurs naturally or organically, i.e., when it feels least staged or forced. As each opportunity arises, I point out how a particular learning or testing method can help.
My experience in the theater dates as far back as the sixth grade. I took the starring role in HAMLET (if you can believe that!). In fact, my experience extends to my elementary school years if one counts the skits I wrote and performed in with the other kids in our extended family. Of course, my understanding of theater since then has matured somewhat. The theater has attracted me as long as I can remember (although I am a less avid spectator than participant). For a short time, theater was my college major. However, my life path took some unavoidable detours, and I finally chose psychology as my undergraduate major, not without a deep sadness at having to depart from my community college theater classes. My most memorable acting experiences were performing an extensive child's role in 'The Champoeg Historical Pageant' in the 1980s and playing the part of George in OF MICE AND MEN in a 1990 PCC production. I have come to prefer the psychological character insight inherent in the Stanislavski Method.
I have some experience teaching ESL students as a class requirement during one of my college Spanish courses. I have also participated in Spanish/English conversation groups since then.
I have a BA in psychology. My son was diagnosed with ADHD, although I have come to believe that that is not his primary problem--or even much of an issue at all anymore. Regardless, as with nearly all topics relating to neuroscience, I still find it fascinating. Even beyond my formal college course requirements, I have done some personal research on the subject, including drugs, diet, and education for children and adults with ADD/ADHD.
Since about the age of nine, my mother invited me to jog with her around our early Beaverton neighborhood, I was destined to be a "fitness buff". I took to competing in half marathons only as recently as 2011 but, on my own, I have (informally) undertaken bodybuilding, open water swimming, yoga and, most recently, a creative combination of isometrics and plyometrics. I am a firm believer in the power of ice baths (or, perhaps, a cold swim!) to accelerate healing and sometimes even to motivate further exercise... although I feel I should add that I would never expect anyone else to voluntarily submerge themselves in ice cold water just because I choose to do this myself. ('Crazy' is a word that usually comes to people's lips as they witness me diving into the Willamette River or into Hagg Lake during late winter or early springtime.) I'm also attuned to and informally educated regarding dietary concerns due to the fact that I suffered for 25 years from intestinal problems that ceased only when I stopped eating wheat. In the meantime, I also became a vegetarian--although I've recently incorporated white meat back into my diet--and eliminated those allergens designated by an allergy test from my diet. Along this quarter-century journey wherein I eventually found a cure for my own chronic illness myself*, I've learned a great many helpful tidbits about the importance of good nutrition and the wide range of potential effects from a lack thereof. *PLEASE NOTE that I am by no means advocating self-treatment here. I would not have arrived at the realizations I did without seeking out medical professionals who helped me to eliminate most commonly suspected causes and alternative treatments of my symptoms.