I am an Ivy League, Oxford University, and Cambridge University-educated writer, who wants to help you with all of your writing needs!
Whether you are looking for help developing critical reading skills, reading analysis, academic writing, academic research, persuasive writing, creative writing, long-form research papers, personal essays and statements for college applications, your Master's Thesis, or just to help your child develop a life-long passion of luxuriating in the beauty of the written word, I am happy to assist!
While an undergraduate at UPenn, I wrote 38 academic essays and 14 creative writing pieces. These include research papers, an Honors Thesis, and final assignments from studies abroad at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge that received scores of 73 and 74 (a score of 80 is considered ready for immediate publication).
I also earned an 800 Critical Reading score on my SAT, and would be thrilled to share the tips and tricks required to receive that score (and they are tricks)!
My relationship with writing was not a smooth road. My first semester of college, I was so frightened of writing assignments, and of writing in general, that I used to get panic attacks before doing something as innocuous as writing an email to a professor. Then, my second semester of college I was placed into a small four-person writing seminar taught by the head of the department, and my life changed forever. Our teacher had the time and space to tailor instruction to each of us, and her attentive, creative, adaptive, individualized teaching helped me embrace my weaknesses and celebrate my strengths, and believe in myself for the first time.
It felt as though I had been handed the keys to the kingdom. She introduced me to a kind of writing experience, of examining the world and navigating through and relating to it that I had heard about from others, but that had remained an abstract, distant concept. Before her class, writing seemed like a sentient, frightening being, sitting on our chests and playing dolls and separating us into those who were predestined to love reading and writing, and those of us who weren't. After her class, writing became freedom: access to creative expression, and a safe place to explore, navigate, and relate to the world.
That professor and her individualized teaching changed my life, and I apply what I learned from her about individualized teaching to my tutoring. I would love to help someone who is struggling with reading or writing have a changed relationship with the mediums.
I will work with you to figure out your individual style and how you can best learn, create, and dream!
I have a particular interest in working with students who are autistic or on the spectrum. I have an autistic family member, and I am very happy to apply what I have learned about adaptive teaching tailored to those on the spectrum in order to create a gentle, loving, and creative learning environment.
I also teach photography, including preparation for the AP 2D Art and Design exam. My portfolio is available at www.toumanoffphotography.com.
School is hard, and writing about topics we are less interested in than others is even harder. Sometimes, making someone's life easier is as simple as helping them finish their work early so they can get a few more hours of sleep.
I love bringing ease and enjoyment to my students' lives and helping them feel confident in themselves and aware of their strengths.
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Everyone has a different style of learning. Some are visual thinkers; some prefer the direction of mathematical analogies; some rely on references to World of Warcraft, or Harry Potter, or even bathroom humor to make the material interesting enough to relate to. Some of us just need reassurance that we can do it.
Our current academic system is not built for individualized learning or personalized teaching, and it is easy to feel like you are falling behind your peers. If anyone in the past has told you that you couldn't or shouldn't or wouldn't, we will prove them wrong.
Whatever your learning style, we will find it. Together.
Most of my background is in editing. I began editing papers for friends and family back in middle school, got an article published in the LA Youth magazine in high school, and was the Editor-in-Chief of my high school program's newspaper. Even when writing terrified me, editing was a balm to the soul: a rearranging of words to help an entire work sing.
Nowadays, my tutoring has developed a heavy emphasis on developing individual voice. We are all powerful storytellers, and there are many people in the world who put time and attention into convincing us otherwise.
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