I have bachelor’s degrees in psychology and anthropology, along with a master’s degree in English and American literature. I worked in the writing center at IPFW for 4 years, and I taught Intro Rhetoric and Composition at the school for 4 years. After getting my master’s degree, I managed and wrote for Aptera’s tech blog for 6 years. You can find my articles in Fort Wayne Magazine and Input Fort Wayne. (I also scored a perfect 800 on the GRE test of verbal reasoning on two separate occasions, first in 2000 and then again in 2011, if you’re impressed by that sort of thing).
My teaching philosophy
Writing teachers today tend to focus on empowering students and helping them to find their voices. This sounds great. But unfortunately none of us is born with loads of interesting things to say. Before finding your voice, I believe you need to develop some form of mastery. And I believe writing, while of course being a vehicle of self-expression, is first a trainable skill — or rather a wide-ranging set of skills.
Writing, in other words, shouldn’t be about you. It should be about what most fascinates you. It should be about what you know or what you can do that brings the most benefit to others. And it’s not a realm where anything goes. You must first be well acquainted with the rules before you can break them in the name of creative self-expression.
I like to begin with the brass tacks of writing. I’m well-aware of the evolving nature of language, and I know full well that what have in the past been taken as hard-and-fast rules are really no more than conventions. But the fact is those conventions are precisely what allows us to form and take meaning from what we speak and write. So we disregard them at our peril.
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