Even though my plans (or pipedream!) to kick for the New York Giants never materialized, I did receive a varsity letter in football at Yale, also earning a B.A. in linguistics (summa cum laude) in the process. I later ventured out to California — well beyond my home state of New York — where I received an M.A. and Ph.D. from USC, also in linguistics (specializing in the history of English and in American dialects). Among the languages I have studied are French, German, Spanish, Russian, and Italian (which feature prominently in my daily reading). Among my hobbies and interests are sports (incl. Yankee baseball and golf), improvisation (comedy, music, hip-hop), songwriting, t-shirt collecting (I have over 300), and the Three Stooges (for which I write a yearly film-festival review).


In my 30+ years of academic experience, I have helped many students prepare for various standardized tests (e.g., SAT, ACT, ISEE, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and AP English); worked as an admissions consultant (for top undergraduate and graduate programs); and taught English and ESL classes for local universities and community colleges, the LAUSD, and other private schools. I was recently an Assistant Professor of English and Communications at a former L.A. university (primarily teaching public speaking) and taught expository writing at USC during grad school.


I am, in short, a staunch opponent of a “cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all” ideology; indeed, my success in teaching has been most facilitated by my ability to gauge a given student’s response to the approach used (especially during the first lesson or any others involving new material) so that I can make suitable adjustments (on the spot) to better meet his/her individual needs. Also, as I have experience in both stand-up and improvisational comedy, I have found that bringing a bit of humor to the lessons can, indeed, foster an environment more amenable to learning.