When I was twelve, I won second place in the citywide spelling bee. Spelling contests only really make sense for the English language, where we flaunt the fact that we've cobbled things together from a huge mix of other languages, and spell things every which way. That may be part of the reason it has evolved to be considered the most important international language, and American usage is often preferred to British.
Lucky me! I was born in South Bend, Indiana, right at the heart of the country. I grew up surrounded by people who spoke what is considered standard English, with no notable accent or dialect. I have always loved language, loved reading, loved detecting the different ways in which English is used and pronounced. I am a published author and an accomplished editor.
My undergraduate degree is in Intercultural Studies from Trinity College ( Hartford, CT) and you just can't study culture without studying something of language and literature as well, since they are all parts of the whole. My master's degree is in theology, from the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN), with a focus on world religions. I have been a teacher in some fashion for decades, whether as a tutor for adults, a high school teacher, a volunteer with refugees, a nanny, or a college instructor during my time in the Peace Corps in Częstochowa, Poland. Most recently, I have spent a lot of time helping doctors from other countries fulfill their dream of practicing medicine in the US, by helping them with American pronunciation, grammar and usage, interviewing skills, and written expression.
Some of my passions are reading (from classic world literature to the latest young adult novels), traveling, and creating art. All of these things have expanded my perspective, made me more aware of cultural contexts, and increased my empathy. I know what it's like to be in a foreign country with much to say but very limited language to express oneself. Let me help you with that.