About

Welcome! This blog is primarily a resource for students enrolled in my courses at HFC. It is also a space for me to provide resources pertaining to college writing, to discuss what we’re doing in (and out) of the classroom, to participate in the field of composition and rhetoric, and to simply share what I find interesting. You’ll probably get a good glimpse at my personal life here as well, because teachers are people too. I teach writing. I also write. This is a place for me to do that.

A little bit of background: Back in 2003, when I graduated from high school, I had plans to attend a state university where I had received scholarships. I wanted to become a photojournalist. I ended up going away to a small, religious school outside of Chicago, spent one night in the dorms, and moved back home with absolutely no idea what my next step would be. I enrolled in classes at HFC the following week. Over the next several years, I took classes on and off, mostly in English, and eventually transferred to WCC when my daughter was in preschool because they offered on-campus child care for students at a low cost. After WCC, where I completed the MACRAO (now the MTA), I transferred to EMU and finished a B.S. in Literature, Language, and Writing. I then went on to earn my M.A. in Written Communication from EMU as well. I taught First Year Writing both years of my graduate program, and spent one additional year as a Part-Time Lecturer. I also taught some spring/summer composition courses at MCCC. In addition to teaching at EMU, I tutored in the University Writing Center and eventually coordinated the satellite location in the College of Technology and filled in at the College of Business. This is all to say that while none of this is what I had originally imagined, sometimes doors open and you have to walk through them. When I applied for the position I now have at HFC, I saw that even my setbacks worked to my advantage.

This is all to say that while none of this is what I had originally imagined, sometimes doors open unexpectedly, and you have to decide whether or not you’ll walk through them. When I applied for the position I now have at HFC, I saw that even my setbacks worked to my advantage. Through those experiences, I learned to be my own advocate. I learned that networks and relationships matter, and I bring this mindset into the teaching and mentoring I do now, every day.

So, dear HFC students: I’ve sat in the same chairs you are sitting in. I’ve listened to lectures in the same classrooms I teach in. I’ve written papers for some of the same teachers you have. I know what it’s like to be on both sides of this campus. I also know that what ultimately made a difference for me was connecting with my instructors and finding someone – several someones – who believed in me. That taught me to see that I could believe in myself.

While your mileage may vary, here is my advice to you: Show up. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t understand something. Ask for help. Make friends. Learn the names of the people who sit next to you. Find out if they like cats or dogs. Go to events on campus. Try the food truck. Come to my office. Visit your other professors’ offices. Put your phone away sometimes. Take it out other times. Go for a walk on the Rouge River Gateway Trail when you need a break. Read some books. Comic books are cool. Tell us what you know, what you care about, what matters. Park far away. Hang out in the library. Don’t blow your financial aid refund on stupid things. Drink lots of water. Take care of yourself. You belong here.

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Here I am on Chapel Beach at Pictured Rocks in June of 2016.
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This is a photo of my daughter and me at Blue Hen Falls, in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
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I have two cats, Taz and Charlie, that I adopted from Tiny Lions Cat Cafe/HVHS. Ask me about their story sometime!
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I play roller derby for Ann Arbor Roller Derby/Ypsilanti Vigilantes. These photos are from a scrimmage in Bath City in August 2017.
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The skater with the star on their head is called the “jammer,” and is responsible for scoring points by getting through the “pack.” 

 

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My derby name is Charlie Defiant (and yes, if you call me Charlie, I’ll answer to that in class).

 

At the top of the main page, you’ll see drop down menus for each course that I am currently teaching. Within each of these menus, you’ll find the syllabus, calendar, and assignment sheets for that course. On the left side of the page, you’ll see this “About” page as well as a page called Resources, which is where you’ll find links to web-based academic writing support and other relevant content. Below that menu, you’ll see a tag cloud. I will tag posts with the names of relevant courses, ie: ENG 132 students might find the posts tagged ENG 132 to be the most applicable. That said, feel free to read what you want to, when you want to, and please leave a comment if you feel so inclined.

 

Also, just so we’re clear: The content of this blog is my own, and does not necessarily represent Henry Ford College or Dearborn Public Schools.

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