• Podcast 13 – Ideas to Help Foster Creativity During This Crisis

    It’s difficult to feel happy during a crisis when there is so much heartbreak happening on the front lines of this coronavirus pandemic. I know I’m feeling a little depressed by the situation and can only watch bits of news each day in order to carry on with the things I have to accomplish for my students and university as I teach from home. We are all doing the best we can, and being home hasn’t been all awful, but I do feel as if my creativity has been zapped a little. Do you feel the same way? Today’s Podcast 13 offers ideas for those of us writers who need…

  • When Things End

    Another semester is in the books, as our university will host graduation ceremonies this Thursday. My grades are just about closed out, and the sun is shining outside, marking the beginning of summer for those of us professors in higher education. I love teaching and being in the classroom—for me, it’s all about that. Waking up in the morning knowing I will see the faces of my students is all I need to get me going in the morning. I’m passionate about my job and about working with students. However, I do look forward to summer, and I’m passionate about writing as well. When people ask me when I have…

  • Year 19 and the Spring Semester

    It’s hard to believe sometimes that 19 years have passed, but then I remember I have a freshman in college. I’ve been teaching at Stevenson University since 2000, when I was pregnant with my first child. I remember getting the job and being excited to be teaching at a four-year institution. I’d been teaching at well-respected community colleges in the area, and had loved my time with them. But teaching at Stevenson University (then Villa Julie College) was something I wanted to try. I had come to crossroads in my life. I had been teaching as an adjunct since 1993 and had left a full-time job in Baltimore at the…

  • Perhaps It Was An Omen

    Spiral notebook. ✓ New pencils. ✓ Planner. ✓ Pink rubber eraser. ✓ A folder with pockets. ✓ Highlighters. ✓ New outfit. ✓ Some things don’t change. I still have this checklist today. I was always excited at the prospect of starting a new school year. Ever since I read a book about a girl who walked to school on the sidewalk past the white picket fences in her neighborhood as the leaves were falling, I’ve always loved the thought of going back to school, seeing friends, and learning something new. Perhaps it was an omen of what life had in store for me. Strangely enough, I was one of those…

  • White Hot and Passionate

    I’m one of the lucky ones. Today, as it often happens when the semester begins, and as I was lecturing about feature writing and discussing the introductory chapter of our textbook, the reality of what I do for a living hit me. It often hits me over the head as a big, huge reminder of how lucky I am to have found my niche, my passion, and a sense of happiness that one doesn’t always feel from a job: I have a career I love. Helping students become better writers, more appreciative readers, and better analyzers of the written word makes me happy. As I presented the list of award-winning…

  • The Beautiful Thing About Learning

    * * * First, I love BB King. My husband and I have seen him in concert. He’s fun, an amazing musician, and now, to boot, has some dear life lessons to doll out. Second, his quote is the reason I’m in education. Not only do I teach my students, but each day I am learning, too. I learn by reading, keeping up to date on my field, writing, and educating myself on things I don’t know or am not familiar with presently. Last night my husband and I watched a documentary on The Smithsonian Channel. It was about Ernest Shackleton and his crew that sailed to Antarctic in 1914.…