In my 21 years as a university professor, I’ve seen the same thing time and again. An exceptional student comes to college and is overwhelmed by all the extracurricular options available to him or her. I remember one particular journalism major. He was a Student Association officer, on the gymnastics team, on the elite choir, … More What are you willing to give up?
One of the bad–and good–things about teaching other people how to write is that you have to stop and think about the process yourself. I’ve been teaching writing as a professor now for about 20 years, and taught writing workshops before that, so I have a little practice. But even so, I find myself scratching … More How do I do this? I really don’t know.
This is graduation weekend, and this morning I sat on the stage, looking out on students I have been teaching (and trying to teach) for the past four years, as well as their parents. In addition, I am bumping into recent graduates who are here because younger siblings are finally getting their diplomas. Some are … More It’s Not About How Good You Are
One of the bits of wisdom I share with my students in my writing classes over the years is the fact that if you’re serious about being a writer, you never stop being a student. And that’s very, very true. My students look at me as the accomplished writer, but I don’t see myself that … More Forever a Teacher, Forever a Student
I had a journalism student–who shall remain nameless–quite a few years ago, who was a marginal student. He did just enough to get by. I found myself constantly having to push him to put enough effort into classes just to pass the class, and I worried about what his career would be like when he … More Something To Say
I was just out mowing my lawn in the early morning hours, trying to beat the Texas heat, when I heard Billy Joel sing his song, “Piano Man.” If you listen to the words, most of it is about people who wish they were doing something other than what they were doing. Henry David Thoreau … More If Not You, Then Who? If Not Now, Then When?
It’s been a slow beginning to summer. Graduation was last Sunday, and even though I have been looking forward to being free of classes for weeks (months?), the many duties and obligations that have shackled me have kept my mind strapped down more than I care to admit. I told myself that Monday–last Monday–would mark … More Rude Awakening