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OLLIE

  • Durham University: MA in English Literature (1st)

  • Durham University: BA in English Literature and Philosophy (1st)

  • Wilson’s School, A-levels: English A*, History A*, Philosophy A, French A

BIOGRAPHY & INTERESTS

Academia, be it studying or teaching, feels like the most worthwhile pursuit I could have found for myself over the past few years. Ever since I realised, in Sixth Form, that I actually enjoyed what I studied, it seemed as if a brave new world opened out in front of me. From that point I decided to read English Literature and Philosophy at Durham, focusing on Continental Philosophy, American Literature, and Life Narratives, amongst other things. I walked further down the path of American Literature during my Masters, working primarily on the novels of Thomas Pynchon, which I would pursue in more depth at the University of Geneva a few years later - even teaching my own seminar course on the author. Beyond the literature and philosophy, I am widely read and insatiably curious when it comes to things I do not understand. I am, for example, delving into the world of astrophysics at the moment, with Carl Sagan as my guide. Away from the books, I enjoy running marathons, hiking or climbing, and singing, having rediscovered the latter after a long hiatus since school. I am currently researching and writing, but feel compelled to keep teaching in some capacity.

EXPERIENCE & APPROACH

Upon completing my Masters, I began teaching at Tormead, an Independent Girls School in Guildford. I taught English and Drama to students aged between 11 and 17, and even had a Year 10 tutor group to look after. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and intend to go back to secondary school teaching in the future. At parents' evenings I received a lot of positive feedback about my dynamic and caring approach. I am not someone that could be described as prideful, but hearing that my students would occasionally come home full of enthusiasm for English did give me immense satisfaction. Since then, I have worked as a Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of Geneva, where I taught English Literature to undergraduate students while working on my own research.

I believe that everyone has a spark waiting to be ignited when it comes to education. The system often pushes a fear-based, results-driven model that does not always allow students to flourish if they are not taught how to cope with it. With the proper guidance, support, and enthusiasm, every student can find what it is that motivates them in an academic environment. The lessons learnt there, however, go beyond simply fulfilling the requirements of a given curriculum and, with good teachers and mentors, it is possible for every student to discover their path to a good life. 

Testimonials

"Ollie takes time for us, whether it's by e-mail, at the office hours or when he gives us our work back. His remarks were always helpful and helped me improve greatly." - English Literature undergraduate student

"Thank you for the dynamism, the feedback and the answers to many many questions. The seminar has been a great space for discussion." - English Literature undergraduate student