What are your main duties and responsibilities at Testive?
As a coach at Testive, I play two major roles. My ongoing responsibility is to coach students in their SAT/ACT preparation efforts, which involves providing both specific tutoring and general mentoring/guidance. Right now at Testive we’re making sure that we’re ready for the Redesigned SAT, so my other responsibility is to work with the Learning Team to create materials aligned to the new test.
What’s your favorite part about working at Testive?
Testive is a relatively small company, and I felt like an integral part of the organization right off the bat. I get to apply skills from my teaching background to each aspect of my work, and whether we’re putting new content on the website or directly coaching students to meet their goals, it’s the kind of environment where feedback happens pretty rapidly, so improvement always feels attainable.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
On any given day, I like to ride my bike, cook and eat (anything spicy!), walk my dog, and watch television (my wife and I have a few shows going at any point). I also like to learn new things--lately I’ve been studying computer science and programming in my spare time (it turns out I’m most interested by algorithms), and last week I had the chance to surf for the first time in years. I take any chance I can get to spend time in the ocean.
What’s your favorite food?
Pepperoni and olive pizza.
What’s your favorite movie and why?
Ooh, that’s a tough competition—I actually keep a list of every movie I’ve ever seen in my life (more than 1300)! Wait Until Dark starring Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin is a fantastic classic thriller, and was my favorite for a long time. Jonathan Demme’s Rachel Getting Married has more recently entered the running, though—I’m blown away by the chaotic combinations of love, anger, guilt, and joy in that movie every time I see it.
If you had to choose a song that best summarized your personality what would it be?
“Sometimes I Rhyme Slow” by Nice & Smith
What quote do you try to live your life by?
“Time is the stealth goon—he one you ignore because you are so busy dealing with the goons right in front of you.” ~ Jennifer Egan
Egan is explaining the a central theme in her book, A Visit From The Goon Squad. I take it from her that on the one hand, you should work hard to draw as much meaning and life as you can out of your present circumstances; on the other hand, that might be impossible.
Are you a cat or a dog person?
I think my cat would say I’m a dog person. But she’s a cat, so she doesn’t get to say.
Mac or PC?
Mac. I’ve had Macs crashing on me from the Mac Classic II right on up through my Macbook Air. Wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you had one piece of advice to give college-bound students, what would it be?
Find one or two things that you’re passionate about—that you actually want to put time and effort and sweat into--and do those things (on top of your schoolwork and test-taking and so on). Spending time on something extracurricular that you enjoy and that challenges you will be immensely more rewarding than joining five different clubs! You’ll get more fulfillment out of it, and colleges will value your commitment, too.