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Tutor profile: Catherine S.

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Catherine S.
Graduate student at Columbia University
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

Please describe in a brief paragraph a moment or event in your life that had a significant impact on you.

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Catherine S.
Answer:

After I received my undergraduate degree, I moved to Japan to teach English. Not only was this the first time that I was truly living independently, without any help from my parents or family, but I was doing so on the other side of the world. Living in a foreign country impacted me in so many more ways than I anticipated. I learned more than basic life skills that accompany entering the workforce as an adult, such as budgeting or autonomy in making important life decisions. I learned how to live and work with people from another culture. Being capable of cooperating with people who are very different from yourself is a vital skill for work, school, and general everyday experiences that I could not have achieved to such an extent living in the United States. Although there are people from many different cultures in the U.S., to be completely immersed in another culture and forced to navigate and adapt as an outsider instilled in me the ability to work with differences beyond what I imagined. I would recommend living in another country for at least a year to anyone who has the opportunity to do so.

Subject: Sociology

TutorMe
Question:

Who were the theorists behind conflict theory and what does it posit about society?

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Catherine S.
Answer:

Karl Marx and Max Weber were the two main theorists behind conflict theory. Marx suggested that society functions around class conflict, or conflict between people in lower economic classes, for example workers, and those in higher economic classes. At the heart of this conflict is the exploitation of the lower classes by the higher for their own economic gain. In order to resist exploitation, the lower classes must form an identity based on class that unifies them against the oppressor. Weber added to this theory by including political power and social positions as forces behind conflict and how individuals respond to oppression. For example, a low income person of color who is marginalized by society will have different views about economic inequality than a low income White person, although they will be more similar than to a higher income person of color. This slightly complicates the creation of a class identity based solely on income.

Subject: English as a Second Language

TutorMe
Question:

What is the difference in meaning between the past simple tense (i.e. watched) and the past continuous tense (i.e. was watching)?

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Catherine S.
Answer:

The past simple tense is used for actions that took place at a specific moment in time. For example: I watched TV yesterday. I read a book this morning. The past continuous is used for actions that were in progress in the past situation that is described. For example: I was watching TV at 4 o'clock yesterday. I was eating breakfast when you called.

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