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Chris Arp

tutor, writer

Chris, a Brooklyn native, attended the acclaimed Saint Ann’s School. He went on to Princeton, where he was editor of the campus’s weekly paper. He then worked as a New York City Teaching Fellow at a public school in Brooklyn before joining Zinc. Chris has an MFA in creative writing from New York University. Aided by three perfect-scoring students, Chris authored the top prep book for the ACT: Up Your Score ACT.

…a text I love to teach

I love to teach David Foster Wallace’s essay “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again,” a looooong-form essay about cruise ships that combines very funny jabs with some stealthy and profound uppercuts. He uses all the tools: wordplay, contrasting diction, terms of art, extended metaphors and rhetorical callbacks. There’s a lot for a student to wrestle with, in other words, and some big rewards for doing so. During the summer, I’ve also been known to make my students read The Brothers Karamazov, because it guarantees expansion of the brain.

…a favorite place I’ve visited

The best place I’ve ever visited is Moab, Utah. The land looks like Mars, perhaps because every movie version of Mars is filmed there. Hiking around is fun, but to best experience the stark, Dr. Seussian beauty of Utah, you gotta drive. Sidle up behind some 18-wheeler and blast on through. Pairs well with Tchaikovsky on the stereo, or the StarTalk podcast with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

…eight people living or dead I’d invite to my ideal dinner party

Ideal dinner party? Easy peasy. It’s gonna be a Queens of Comedy night (plus me): Gilda Radner, Madeline Kahn, Carol Burnett, Tina Fey, Lucille Ball, Wanda Sykes, Maria Bamford, and oh…fine, Ellen DeGeneres can come, but she has to bring that early Ellen (she knows what I mean).