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Meet Tika Haake of CarpeDiem Academics in Oswego

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tika Haake.

Tika pursued her love of math and science at the University of Iowa, Iowa City and graduated with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. She was Captain and All-American Athlete, coached under Olympic Coach Liang Chow, for the University of Iowa, Women’s Gymnastics Team.

While Tika was working as an Engineer, she started tutoring part-time and quickly realized teaching was her true passion. Having a greater depth of understanding in Math and Science courses, she has a very clear and concise way of explaining them to Jr. High and High School students. Her mission is to build a strong understanding of math and science at the foundational level. This not only facilitates quicker learning but also builds a positive relationship with mathematics and science for lifelong learning and appreciation of Math & Science. Tika’s experience of being a High School and NCAA Student-Athlete also provides invaluable mentorship to her students.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The easiest road to choose is the one which leads to your happiness, but this road is usually foggy and obstructed by many other distractions so it’s not the easiest to find! I tell my students to experience college and take that time to continue to “grow up”. In your 20’s, no matter if you love your career choice or not, you will be challenged on many aspects of life. If it happens you don’t enjoy your career path, use it as a starting point… or experience things to figure out what you don’t like.

For me, it was the latter! Finding my path was pretty much going through a maze! I know I have always loved Math and Science and wanted my own business. My first one was an ironing service, for my Dad at age 6! He would give me a quarter for every ironed work shirt of his. Basically, if you would have asked my 6-year-old self, maybe it would have been a more simple path! After pursuing gymnastics and engineering in college, I was tired! In my early 20’s, I caught up on sleep and worked many, many different jobs, sometimes 3 at a time. These include being a Biomedical Engineer, a personal trainer, to waiting tables at what was then Nick and Tony’s Chophouse on Wacker and doing some acting gigs, to working in the Education Department for IIDA in the Merchandise Mart, to becoming a gymnastics coach, to working for American Idol in LA, to becoming a yoga instructor. Yes, I had many jobs! But it has led to much invaluable experience and meeting many wonderful people in different walks of life. While pursuing some acting and living in LA, I started tutoring to match the needed flexibility and just fell in love with it! Since high school, I have always enjoyed being involved in teaching children in some way, but unifying this with my love of Math and Science finally brought clarity to my pursuit.

Now, when my kids turn 6, I am sure to make them write some things down haha!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about CarpeDiem Academics – what should we know?
CarpeDiem Academics is a tutoring company, which I think through my yoga training and lifestyle, provides a holistic approach. We specialize in Math and Science tutoring and college test prep, but of course, we are capable of giving reading and English support too. What sets us apart is going beyond just the actual calculations and developing a trusting relationship with our students. With our unique holistic approach, we provide guidance in organization, study habits, and give emotional support to increase confidence and help with test anxiety, which is equally important to improving grades. My students stay with us for years and they become part of the CarpeDiem Family. The company name says it all, “seize the day”. Though our very positive, friendly approach, we help children discover their individuality and finding meaning in their academic days. I believe living a virtuous life through hard work every day is what makes a great “present” life… the journey to their unique path. Also with my student-athlete experience at the University of Iowa, I definitely enjoy catering to the community’s student-athletes. It is always very comforting to have someone understand what you are going through and balancing those schedules can be difficult. There are many struggles with being a teenager in this time and the more positive, uplifting guidance to the students of our time, the better future for us all.

Tika Time is what students like to call their tutoring sessions with me. Per request of my students, I am trying to go online with providing tutoring videos where I talk about math, science, English, and other fun and interesting conversations in between!

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Perseverance. This along with patience, having gratitude to accomplishing day to day tasks, and taking time to look up at the sky and watch clouds roll by help to feeling happy in life… which is what I think success is. I also believe in not totally being grounded in our earthly existence. We are elevated by some cosmic power, whether it’s God or science or just power. Understanding we are all on our individual journeys of transition and not taking each moment or spoken word so seriously, really helps in getting along with people (in turn being happy). This idea is kinda parallel to a core belief in the yoga sutras of living without attachment.


  • $55 an hour for Private Tutoring

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