Updated My Essay Writing Handbook

Back in October 2014, I published a slim writing handbook, mostly for my Freshman Composition students so that they wouldn't have to buy a ridiculously expensive college textbook that we would only be using 10% of its bulk. Surprisingly, even though I've published other books before and after, this little handbook brings me most of … Continue reading Updated My Essay Writing Handbook


No One Reads My Dissertation — But That’s Okay

On May 14, 2006, I graduated with my PhD in Literature. When I shortly -- and fortunately -- became a full-time faculty member of a community college a month after this photo was taken (yay employment with full benefits!), I realized that the "publish or perish" rat-race of tenure-track scholarship no longer applied to me. … Continue reading No One Reads My Dissertation — But That’s Okay

Two Books in Two Months

It's amazing how a sabbatical from my community college teaching and service duties spurs writing production. I meant to write one book, but I ended up writing TWO -- in TWO MONTHS. The online memoir writing class that I was taking through Ed2Go started August 20. Meanwhile, I started writing Scaffolds: A Childhood Memoir of Books … Continue reading Two Books in Two Months

9: The How, Not the What, of Assigned Books

Recently, I said to my sister Wendy, “I should teach a Shakespeare class.” “I thought you already did.” “Nah – the closest was when I was student teaching MacBeth to high school seniors. I spent most of that unit acting out the scenes because they couldn’t get Shakespeare’s language.” I started pantomiming Lady MacBeth’s madness … Continue reading 9: The How, Not the What, of Assigned Books

A Couple of Professional Milestones

Way back when, May 1999, I was at a crossroads in my new teaching career. Just less than a year earlier, in August 1998, I had quit my dead-end corporate job and, living off of student loans, I began my full-time teacher certification program. I remember that first day as a full-time student, sitting in a student center's basement-level … Continue reading A Couple of Professional Milestones