Sam N.

University: Oxford

Degree Subject: Classics

Location: London

Teaching Subjects:
Classics: University Q&A, Personal Statement, Oxbridge Admissions Test, Oxbridge Interview
A-Level: Classics


Oxford classics

Course Introduction - Oxford Classics

First of all, it’s worth noting that Oxford has the largest Classics department in the world, with excellent libraries and facilities. It’s a four-...
By Sam Norman.

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Favourite interview question

""Why should I be moral?""

About Myself

I am in my third year of a Classics degree, focusing on philosophy and Roman history. In my first exams, I got one of the highest marks in my year, and I have won university prizes for Classics and poetry. I am currently studying the philosophy of Kant, and researching for a thesis on Blaise Pascal. My favourite philosopher is Plato - wide-ranging, brilliant, humane and a beautiful writer.

Tutoring Approach

I am very happy to tailor my approach to the student's needs, but typically a tutorial would have the following aspects:
- I would ask the student to think about a particular question, or read a particular chapter/poem, or research a particular issue before the tutorial. This might involve doing some work ahead of time, which I would mark in advance of the session.
- I would begin the session by asking her/him what they thought of the reading. If it were a philosophy tutorial, I would question the weakest parts of their argument, and we would proceed from there; it would be primarily dialogue-based, like they have in Oxford (and as Socrates pioneered).
- If it were a literature tutorial, I would probably ask the student to compare two different works, and look for similarities and differences. I'd ask which she/he preferred, and why. We might talk about what makes for an effective piece of writing. If appropriate, I'd probably recommend a book to read, or ask the student to write a poem or short story. (I'm a big believer in the good of writing creatively, not just analysing the creative writing of others.)
- If I were coaching an Oxbridge interview session, we would go through previous years' questions and plan what would make for clever, lively answers. It would also be useful to stage a practice interview.

I'm always happy to set and mark homework.

My interests are wide, and I'm happy to talk in depth about all of the following: Classics, ancient history, philosophy, literature (including poetry), music, theatre (especially musicals), chess and magic.

Teaching Experience

- I tutored a 12 year-old through the charity 'Into University' for a year, 2015-6, across a range of topics.
- I taught English full-time for three months to primary school children in India, 2014.
- I have experience tutoring for occasional sessions in the USA (Princeton), 2014.

Extracurricular Interests

Writing
- A musical I co-wrote, Cyrano de Bergerac (2017), was performed at Oxford’s biggest student-run theatre (capacity 189), to highly positive reviews.
- My book, A Teen’s Guide to Modern Manners (2016), was published by Little, Brown. It sold out its initial print-run.
- I won The Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation (2015).

Music
- I have Grade 8 Distinctions in 'cello and singing
- I sing in the Hertford College Chapel Choir

Reading
- I read a lot of poetry and prose. My favourite authors include Franzen, Mistry, Niffenegger, Seth and Wodehouse; my favourite poets include Donne, Larkin, Paterson, Frost, Auden, Macneice, Sappho and, of course, Homer.

Sport
- I play football for my college, and go 'spinning' (i.e. musical cycling classes) almost daily.

Lastly, I play chess to a good level, and am an accomplished card-magician.