Monday, November 21, 2011

Grateful: Day One

There's lots of people posting about things they're grateful for every day this month, on Facebook and Twitter and such, so I decided to have themed week.  I've got lots to be grateful for, and I can't cover everything even if that's all I ever wrote about.  But I can try to say some of the big things.  And I will:


Today was the only day I have to work this week, because my students get Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off, and I teach every other day.  And I have to say: I am grateful for my job.

For those of you who don't know, I teach writing as an adjunct professor for the University of Utah.  I used to travel up to classes and hold lectures there, but they have a partnership with a nearby charter high school, and I've always loved teaching younger (freshman-aged) students.  Of course I volunteered, and it was the best decision of my career.

The students I get in my classes are generally smart, motivated, and super talented.  I love in-class discussions, and the questions I get from lectures, and watching how carefully and intelligently they review each others' essays.  I may not be especially fond of the grading process, but I do appreciate how my comments can help create a personalized dialogue between me and students, ultimately improving their writing and, in some cases, teaching me a thing or two as well.  I took a lot of science classes as an undergraduate, and I toyed with the idea of becoming a microbiology professor or something (chemistry professors get to blow stuff up!), but writers can tie anything in to their discipline.  Water polo rules? Woorari poison darts? Werewolves? You can write about anything you know (including explosions) and you can learn from students (I've learned tons!), so I'm pretty happy with my chosen subject.

I stayed at work late today to talk with a handful of students about Thanksgiving traditions, Ayn Rand, and fantasy villains.  I've worked a lot of jobs in my life, but I can tell you that I never stayed late at Dairy Queen during high school, or at the DoubleTree Inn in Seatac where I temped over summers between semesters.  I love my job now, though, and I know how lucky I am to spend time with such awesome people!

My handwriting on the board actually isn't that good, and most my classrooms have whiteboards.  Still, I can pretend this is something I wrote, blurs and all.


  1. That sounds so amazing! What a great job and how lucky you are to have all those students who are so fired up to discuss writing. It's like getting to relive college days without actually having to be back in college again ;)

  2. It's true! I'd rather write a paper than grade one, but other than that, teaching beats being a student. :)