Signature Associate Tutor Robyn
WE TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN OUR HAND-PICKED TEAM OF TUTORING PROFESSIONALS. HERE’S A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ENGLISH ASSOCIATE-TUTOR, DR ROBYN OLLETT
WELCOME TO THE TEAM! WHAT’S YOUR BACKGROUND AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A SIGNATURE TUITION TUTOR?
Thanks for having me!
I am a part-time HE English Tutor and Early-Career Researcher, which means I have been teaching at university level for the past 3-4 years. I have a BA in English Studies and an MA in Modern and Contemporary Studies; this year, I passed my PhD viva and I’m currently working to develop my research and teaching portfolios.
I have a couple of publications under my belt and I’m working on turning my doctoral thesis into a book.
My research specialisms revolve around Gothic Studies and Queer Studies, so my favourite things to write and teach about include literature, film and other media of the Gothic mode, and I usually analyse how these relate to ideas of identity, sexuality and gender. I have experience of writing new university modules as well as visiting schools and colleges in my capacity as a visiting lecturer to give talks and workshops on everything from the culture of Halloween to Capitalism and Social Realism in the work of Dickens.
What inspired me to become a tuition tutor was the one-to-one tutorials I offered my previous students (L5/second year and university level) during the pandemic-induced transition to online teaching.
Speaking to individuals and offering them your undivided attention is a valuable privilege at any educational stage and can help students to focus in times of stress and uncertainty. Making a connection with my students and offering them knowledgeable guidance helps me to nurture their skills of independence, critical thinking and creative analysis- the results are always incredibly rewarding.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING A TUTOR?
I like sharing my experiences and sharing my knowledge- after collecting so many degrees, it’s nice to have a fair bit of expertise to help and encourage a love of learning in others.
WHAT ARE YOUR THREE FAVOURITE BOOKS?
The Notebook by Agota Kristof (not the romance by Nicholas Sparks). This novel is the first instalment in a trilogy. It tells the story of twin brothers evacuated from the city during wartime to live with their rural Grandmother- it’s a great novel with which to access quite a lot of interesting theory and a wonderful, harrowing bildungsroman.
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. This collection of subversive fairytales is a formative text for anyone with an interest in the Gothic and feminism. I think an early interest in Carter stands any student in great stead for a career in academia- Carter introduces so many captivating themes and the way she weaves together her politics and her Gothic aesthetic is really special.
The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi. I think Oyeyemi’s work will always feature on any of my reading lists- she pulled a Mary Shelley and wrote this, her first novel, at 18 when she was still in college. The Icarus Girl is a beautifully written post-colonial Gothic about a mixed-race little girl who picks up a mysterious friend when she visits her Mother’s home in Nigeria.
WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE BOOK AND WHY?
I read Henry David Thoreau’s Walden during my MA and remember it being quite a slog- nothing happens! He’s just a white guy with an allotment but it’s also a Modernist classic so I think I’ll get wrong for calling it dull. More often than not with novels I don’t immediately enjoy, I find I end up developing some sort of weird affection after I spend time writing about them
WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO FOR LIFE?
I don’t really have one. You get out of any educational pursuit what you put into it. I’d rather be well-read and interesting than want to be like anyone else.
If you’d like to chat with us about how our tutors can support your child as they start the new academic year, get in touch with us here