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Tutor profile: Kayla S.

Kayla S.
Sarah Lawrence College Politics Student

Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

What is the best way to approach the personal essay question on a college application?

Kayla S.
Answer:

The personal essay can be quite daunting, but when it is broken down it can be both approachable and fun. The purpose of the essay is to showcase a positive personality trait that is beneficial in a college setting through a story from your life. Your role in the college essay is to be a storyteller. The story does not have to be super impressive or show academic rigor, it just has to prove a character trait. Sometimes it a story or moment in life that might not seem very important that is perfect for showcasing something about you as a person. When it comes to the structure of the essay, a good bet to start off is a introduction full of sensory imagery that grounds the reader in your story. This opener is also a great opportunity to introduce yourself and maybe allow the reader to get to know parts of your life like your hometown or your family. Once you have the reader hooked, you can really dig into why this story is important and throughout the next couple of paragraphs you can reflect on the story and what it shows about you as a person.

Subject: US Government and Politics

TutorMe
Question:

How have the Democrats and Republicans become so polarized?

Kayla S.
Answer:

In recent decades, polarizations among Democrats and Republicans has become more intense than in recent political memory, which has left people wondering how American politics has gotten here in the first place. There has been a lot of discussion about the asymmetric polarization American politics is experiencing with Republicans situating themselves as extreme, while Democrats fight over who gets to occupy the centrist position. If you just look at Joe Biden as the current Democratic President and then Donald Trump as the most recent Republican President these differences are made present. A lot of the cause of this predicament lies in the political conditions that have worsened economic inequality since the late twentieth century. The rise of globalization and a constant focus on corporate control of American culture has created an economic structure that benefits the wealthy at the expense of poorer voters. Running as a Democrat in recent years, has put politicians in a tricky position where they must win over the support of wealthy donors and organizations, while trying to create a liberal message. As a result, Democrats have to walk a thin line when it comes to how economically liberal they are able to be, while Republicans need to find social issues to drum up support for their party. Party issues like abortion, immigration, and gun control, while all important, can keep the focus away from policy topics like taxes and welfare for Republicans who fear that their economic policies will be unpopular amongst the grassroots. This dynamic gives Republicans an inventive to drive themselves as far right as possible, while Democrats try to stay in their line and embrace a moderate amount of liberal economic reform. The wedge that is driven by social issues ends up helping both parties gather ammunition against the other party, because it gives each party policy differences to battle on during debates.

Subject: Gender Studies

TutorMe
Question:

How has the feminist movement evolved since the 1970's in tandem with the growth of neoliberalism?

Kayla S.
Answer:

In the 1970's, the growth of second wave feminism was in large part taking place in private spaces. Women were meeting in groups to participate in consciousness raising sessions where they would have personal discussions about their lives as women in a patriarchal system. Women were using female solidarity to get to the issues and frustrations they were experiencing personally and finding camaraderie amongst the other women who had shared problems. This approach also took shape in the medical sphere with women creating self health clinics that gave them the opportunity to explore their bodies in groups in a homey space rather than a clinical environment. Moving into the 1980's, the women's movement had more difficulty in pushing forward their activist agenda due to the conservative backlash of the Reagan administration. With feminist politics being denounced by Reagan, the movement struggled to pick up momentum. Reagan was also carrying out a neoliberal agenda, which meant that profit was the top priority behind any political decision. As a result, the wealthy gained more power and corporations became further entrenched as the center of American politics. A core tenant of neoliberalism is the idea that a person's issues are a result of their individual decisions or behaviors and that consumption is the key to solving that problem. In the twenty first century, neoliberalism has created a feminist environment that is largely defined by consumption in a way that it was not in the 1970's consciousness raising sessions. Consumer products claiming to be a form of female empowerment or the idea of feminist success being a high power corporate job are both examples of neoliberalism's impact on feminism.

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