The Story Doctor

The Story Doctor

1 employee
7 years in business

About this tutor

I am currently a Lecturer in Journalism & Screen Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and a Special Lecturer in the Cinema Studies program at Oakland University in Rochester. 

I began my college education at UM-Ann Arbor, but finished my B.A. - in Communication-Film Aesthetics & History - at Oakland University. I received my M.A. and Ph.D. - in Communication-Film Theory and Criticism - from Wayne State University. 

In addition to teaching courses in film studies, I have also taught courses in freshman composition at UM-Dearborn, UM-Flint, and HFCC. Writing is a major component in all of my film courses, which include my favorite course to teach - Adaptation - where we read the novels, plays (including Shakespeare) or graphic novels the films are based on. 

Storytelling is something that has been important to humans throughout history - from cave paintings to the oral tradition to motion pictures and CGI. They allow us into other people's minds and experiences, creating empathy and understanding. They foster curiosity and imagination which, in turn, can lead to new discoveries and innovations. In short, stories are part of what makes us human. 

My interest in stories and in writing have contributed to my being involved with an animation project for a children's TV program. I have written several scripts for the show, and am currently working on the second in a series of children's books associated with the show. (The first book, As Free as a Bird, was published in 2015.)

As a college professor, I have over twenty years experience critiquing student writing, guiding reseach papers and projects, as well as working with aspiring filmmakers to hone in on the fundamentals of a good story.  I find this type of one-on-one tutoring both enjoyable and, in many ways, more satisfying than dealing with large groups of students or with students one never meets in online courses. 

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Detroit, MI 48236
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

I am currently a college professor, and so I am assigned new students each term. However, if an individual student needs help, we generally make an appointment to deal with whatever issues they may have. 

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I began teaching courses in film and English composition at HFCC in 1986. I taught courses in storytelling at CCS, and then went on to teach courses in film, freshman composition and video production at UM-Dearborn - from 2002 to the present. I also became a Special Lecturer in the English Dept. at Oakland University, where I also teach courses in film studies. 

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

I am new to tutoring, but I understand that the going rate in my area begins around $30 per hour. That, of course, does not include travel time/gas/etc. Nor, perhaps, does it take into account my level of experience or degrees. I would assume that $30 - $40 per hour might be appropriate.

How did you get started teaching?

Years ago, while working as a service rep for Michigan Bell, I became a supervisor who conducted a great many training classes. After completing my B.A., I began teaching at HFCC, and then worked as a T.A. while earning my Ph.D.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with students at both the junior college and college level. These include both traditional and non-traditional students, as well as students from diverse backgrounds and ethnic groups. 

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

A very close family friend suffered a major heart attach in mid-November. He was on life support for over a week, and no one was sure if he was ever going to pull through, or if he did, how much of his memory or functionality he would regain. And so, when he was finally off life support, and recognized us when we walked into the room, we were all ecstatic. 

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Beyond the obvious levels of expertise and/or experience, I think that it's important that the student feels comfortable with a tutor. There are different styles of teaching, and not every student will respond the same way to a particular method or personality type. Therefore, I might suggest that the student select an assignment that they may be stuggling with, and see how the tutor approaches it, if that's an option. Or ask the tutor how they might approach an assignment, or how they feel about the subject to be covered. Another way to acess their compatability would be to check reviews, and see what others have said about teaching styles. 

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Students need to be honest about why they struggling in order to get the help that they need. We are all, to some extent, intimidated when faced with something new or that we deem to be challenging. However, as I tell my students, I cannot help you if I don't know what the problem is. So, I would ask the student to think about what they consider to be the obstacles that are preventing them from achieving their goals, so that we can find a way to address them. 

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