1) When and why did you first become involved with TutaPoint?
I first became involved with TutaPoint my sophomore year of college at UCLA. I was a pre-medical student at the time and was volunteering at the hospital and a free clinic, however, I missed teaching younger kids. In high school I had tutored as part of a requirement for the National Honors Society, but I had also taught two 5th-grade girls and one 3rd-grade girl how to play the piano. I missed the relationship between a tutor and a student; TutaPoint provided that avenue for tutoring that didn’t require a car to get there! TutaPoint was flexible and allowed me to teach the subjects I was passionate about and also allowed me to control the times that I was available to tutor (since I had class at random hours in the day). The combination of the freedom and the ability to connect with students who were actively seeking help was a perfect match for me. I have remained with TutaPoint ever since (four years)!
2) Name one thing you struggled with when you were a student.
I could not understand geometric proofs for the life of me! Give me an algebraic question or better yet a calculus question, and I would be able to write out a solution that took an entire page. But hand me a proof and I would immediately stare off into space. I would forget that 2+2=4 (okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad)! But no matter how hard I studied or how much effort I put into memorizing proofs I could not logically pull myself through the steps! I remember feeling utterly helpless. Remembering this feeling always allows me to empathize with my students because I know how horrible that feeling is and I wouldn’t wish that sinking feeling upon my worst enemy. My goal is try and minimize that feeling as much as I possibly can in one session.
3) What was your favorite and least favorite subject in school?
My favorite subject in school was AP Biology. I absolutely loved learning about the human body. I even enjoyed learning the glycolysis cycle as well as photosynthesis. I specifically remember liking the organelles in a cell. Thus, it should be no a surprise that I am in medical school today. My least favorite subject would have to be economics, only because I had a bad experience with the teacher, which translated to the subject. I am a firm believer that a teacher can make or break a subject, which is very important to realize as a student. Just because you don’t like your teacher, it doesn’t mean you do not like the subject itself.
4) What’s your tutoring philosophy?
My main objective when tutoring a student is to inspire my student to love the subject by explaining the concepts as easily and clearly as possible in a way that the student learns best. If a student does not understand the concept the first way that I present the information I will approach the concept from a different perspective and try to explain the concept once again. A crucial point is that the information has be presented in a way that the student learns best! Everyone learns differently: visual, audio, tactile, and any other combination. I make sure to understand the student’s preference and weave that into the lesson. As soon as the student begins to understand the subject that is the most challenging, the more the passion for the subject will grow.
5) What do you do for work outside of TutaPoint?
I am currently a second-year medical student at the Thomas Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia. I am conducting research in diabetes at the University of Chicago through the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) summer research program. I am conducting focus groups with 3rd- through 5th-grade students living in Chicago’s South Side to understand their baseline knowledge of food, nutrition, and healthy living.
6) What’s your hobby or passion?
I would consider myself a “health nut.” I absolutely love nutrition and eating healthy. I keep up on nutrition articles and also take time to exercise as much as possible. I love to do yoga, run, and bike. Yoga is my go-to stress reliever and my seven-year hobby. I just ran the Rock n’ Roll Chicago half marathon on July 20!