I recently received my Ph.D in English Literature from Stanford University, where I tutored for five years at the Writing Center. After some eight years as a teacher, tutor and seminar leader to students ages 13-22, I have learned to bring joy to teaching, even with subjects as dreary as university applications and -- Heaven help us! -- English exam boards. I focus on your unique needs and talents as a person to bring you to a more affectionate relationship with your literary texts, your exams, and your writing. In the past, I have not only gotten students into top universities and medical programs, but I also made sure they enjoyed the process. I am highly reviewed by students in large part because I care about their well being as well as their education.
With me as your tutor, I promise you will not only learn, but laugh.
Tutoring / Teaching Experience
I have tutored students on subjects as diverse as English homework, article publications, A-level essays and university applications. I taught a host of literary history classes, including most recently a KS3 class on Fundamentals of Literary Analysis.
Tutoring experience:8 years
Suitability for tutoring
Amir was my writing instructor for a Chinese philosophy and writing course that I took as a freshman at Stanford. The course consisted of two portions: a lecture series and a writing workshop. A professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Ronald Egan, was the lecturer, and Amir, led the writing workshops. Given my experiences with Amir during that course and since, I highly recommend Amir as an educator in the humanities and the English language.
First, I think it may be helpful for me to provide my background as an English student and my experiences with English teachers before college. I went to an elite high school, and was fortunate to have fantastic English teachers for all four years. My high school's English program was rigorous and transformative for me as a writer. My teachers there emphasized both structure and creativity. I started college with the idea that writing was going to be relatively easy given my development as a writer throughout high school. I had also heard from many previous graduates of my high school that writing was a breeze once you got to college. That notion was not entirely correct for me. I had the tools to be successful in my college writing class with Amir, and I was. But, I still had to work very hard.
One of Amir's many great strengths as a teacher is his ability to encourage his students to embody a state of constant self-improvement. This was not simply because self-improvement is central to Confucianism, as we learned in the course, but also because Amir is such a versatile teacher that he can identify the strengths and weaknesses of many different students and such a strong writer that he can consistently push you to achieve qualities in your writing that you did not know existed. My second paper in Amir's class was on the Confucian and Daoist tensions in I.M. Pei's Pyramide du Louvre (the glass pyramid in Paris). That paper was my strongest paper of the course, and Amir recognized that, congratulating me on my effort. But, he also pushed me further, inquiring whether I could find ways of incorporating Confucian and Daoist thoughts not only in my written ideas but also in the rhythm and flow of my paper. My final paper of the year was on the Confucian and Daoist roots of the architect Ma Yansong's buildings and thinking. It had many issues. However, Amir gave me detailed and informative comments, and met with me several times, helping me improve the essay's organization and the depth of my analyses. Amir can locate the balance between a restless dissatisfaction, encouragement, and pride - all emotions that a writer should experience.
In addition to his versatility at the personal level and in the context of writing education, Amir is also adaptable as a teacher. Amir had no exposure to Chinese philosophy or any of the non-writing components of the course before Professor Egan selected him as his writing instructor. On the other hand, I had actually taken many years of Chinese language in middle school and high school and had studied Chinese history and culture during a semester abroad there during my senior year. Yet, throughout the course, I felt as if Amir had been studying Chinese philosophy and literature for many, many years, whereas I had only had the thinnest exposure to similar topics in comparison. Such was the depth with which Amir was able to dive into the texts and ideas of the course (and in such a short period of time too). The intensity of Amir's knowledge is accentuated by his ability to listen. Just as he found balance in his writing feedback, he also found balance in the classroom, astutely interjecting when he felt it necessary to guide a conversation, while also allowing us to interpret and contribute.
Part of his success in this regard is perhaps a result of Amir's ability to make something interesting, regardless of your previous feelings to that something. Amir brought his quirky sense of humor, his affinity for a shirt he thinks is the ugliest shirt in the world, and the Big Lebowski into our discussions on Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Chinese art and poetry. He encouraged us to do the same - to write about our interests in light of what we were learning in the course. My main interest is architecture, and so I tried to analyze buildings and structures as Confucius or Laozi might have. On the last day of class, Amir told us that he was going to play some songs for us that he had selected intentionally because each of them had a subtle connection to one of our essays. The variety of tones, lyrics, and musical styles we heard that day are a testament to the diversity of thought that Amir fostered in his classroom.
And, Amir's teachings were not restricted to the classroom. He possessed a genuine interest in our lives outside of class. He befriended us all, and arranged "peer piety" groups to help us get to know some of our classmates more intimately.
I have most likely left something out, as Amir is such a complexly interesting and kind person. All I can say is, Amir is a fantastic teacher and individual.