Teaching Rhetoric in an age where genre, medium and narrative style is evolving so rapidly makes coming to work fun for me. In my courses, a community of writers works to re-see familiar texts like Facebook and course syllabi while also pushing on the yield of what's known about the work of writing. My teaching philosophy is predicated on the assumption that students have many ideas of value to contribute and writing should be the authentic presentation of these ideas.
My academic interests range from institutional literacy to education reform to Pragmatist philosophy. I am interested in the ways that systems, widely-considered, work to form our conception of ourselves, our culture and the things that we value. I try to channel these interests into my teaching in ways that will support students in their personal, professional and civic lives as they attempt to facilitate change in their chosen endeavors.
Outside of academe, I admire the thinking at work in David Foster Wallace books, The Wire and Deadspin to name a few because these types of text highlight complexity and nuance with an eye for pop culture in ways that I think are cool.
Most importantly though, I believe that for most of us, the curiosity and wonder that should be associated with learning something new about the world got de-schooled from us somewhere along the way. I aim to make my classroom a site where these virtues come back.
An Object of Affection
This coaxial cable represents the connectivity between people and ideas that makes teaching an ideal profession. In my classes, I try to bring the ideas and experiences students have had together with a wide range of outside voices that will inform and accentuate these experiences. The metaphor also works well to explain the ways of thinking that are valued in the Core Division-good thinking that is always deeply layered, much like the strands of copper and wire bound together to make the cable useful.