Thank you for taking the time to read my welcome statement. I think it’s fair to share some things about myself with you, since I’m asking you to write me a letter about yourself.
I have been teaching for over 20 years. My background includes every elective you can imagine in English, as well as Theory of Knowledge, IB and AP English, and online Creative Writing for Virtual High School. I taught Teacher Education online and face to face at a community college in Tucson, Arizona. I had cacti shaped like people in my backyard, and mountain views. I miss the desert –especially when I have to shovel my driveway.
I love reading and writing. I’m currently writing a book on on-line dating (non-fiction). I also love writing fiction, but because writing is soul-wrenching work, I seem to find more time to work on other things, like rearranging my sock drawer and trying to get pictures of the thing that makes night raids on my petunias. (Could it be a Yeti?)
When I’m not being a language geek, I also like to rollerblade, walk to the beach, ride my bike, and go to the gym. You would think that with all this activity, I’d be in great shape, but this is not the case. I prefer to think of myself as a rough draft.
)I also love music of all kinds, including Gregorian Chant, which some people find weird, but I find relaxing. I play the piano and I sing badly. When I want to punish my high school students for unruliness, I sing to them. Consider that a fair warning.
I’m a UCONN Husky, so I enjoy following college basketball. I also am a car freak, and enjoy watching BBC America’s “Top Gear.” I revel in responsibly speeding in my own convertible with the top down, even in the winter. I share my home in Niantic with a small, furry, feline who suffers from OCD. He lines up the mice he kills on my kitchen rug.
My most memorable learning experience came during my senior year of college. My professor read my first paper for his class aloud, and ridiculed my writing. This is not a practice I employ in my own classes, for obvious reasons. (Did I mention the room had small desks, and when you’re 5’11” it’s hard to crawl under them and disappear?)
My biggest pet peeve is cheesy excuses. Grandparents drop like flies just before essay due dates, the poor things. And then there are the dead computers, the dead printers, and the notorious stories of alien abduction and canine consumption. Spare your parents from having to substantiate your claims with tear stained notes.
Do the work and you will have the power. It’s probably less taxing than creating excuses.
I delight in getting reading recommendations from students, and I will sure to share plenty of book titles with you as well. We are a community of readers and writers, and we are a work in progress. As long as you keep moving in the direction of your goal, you can count yourself successful.