I hold a Ph.D. in English literature with specialization in Victorian fiction and emphasis on gender/sexuality studies.  I reside in New England where I teach a variety of traditional, hybrid, and online courses.   

Growing up in a trailer park in New England to literacy-challenged parents sparked in me a passion for learning and a desire to cultivate accessible instruction strategies suitable especially for disadvantaged, adult, and low-income learners.  My parents encouraged in me a strong love of philosophical inquiry and a deep respect for the acquisition of knowledge through experience.  When I decided on a career as a teacher at university I did so because I believe that academia fosters the kind of learning that sprouts at the crossroads of personal history, literary exploration, metaphysical reflection, and everyday experience.

During the early years of school my literary endeavors were a source of shame. I never understood the shame that I felt until I finished my Master’s thesis.  I couldn’t wait to show my father the bound copy of it and will never forget the sharp embarrassment and disappointment that I felt watching his excited expression disintegrate to confusion as he tried to read the first page of it.  I snatched it away.  I actually threw it in the trash.  I felt angry at myself for giving him something to read — some token of my accomplishments — that was so inaccessible.  I was ashamed to take pride in a thing that blatantly separated me from my physical history.

In my teaching I have striven to bridge the gap between history and writing by encouraging students to explore literary avenues informed by the topics with the most bearing on their lives.  I want to be a teacher who can speak to students plainly about the complex fabric of Western culture in a way that sutures national contexts with personal history.  I want to be a researcher and academic author who reads contemporaneous hot topics into literary history in fascinating ways that help modern readers understand the politics of selfhood.  I want to be a creative writer who takes risks in exploring the boundaries of conscious experience.

Most importantly, I would like to be someone who can speak proudly and with conviction about her profession. 

Recent Posts

Being Seen during a Wellness Journey

I have not made a post for about a month in this diary but this has not been because I have been lazy or in a binge coma. Actually, I keep considering the function of such a diary for me, at this point in my journey. I ask myself: what is the function of me logging in my food every day and documenting my exercise.

On one hand, it is because these steps motivate me. I can see my progress, and I can see the data and interpret it. Tracking in these ways also give me visibility, as if I am being seen in some way, which in turn provides me a sense of validation.

On the other hand, these things are not really real. I do already feel internal motivation just from a desire to be well and to reach a higher level of consciousness. And visibility is a lie, a farce — no one really sees me or knows me, not really, and certainly not more than I see or know myself.

So, the function of documenting and being accountable to a plan continues to perplex me. After almost one year of logging in my food and exercise and nine weeks of keeping this wellness diary on my website, I am not sure that I have reaped the benefits for which I hoped.

Then again, I feel today as if I am at a better place; yet, I always feel that way. Every day is another encounter with the unknown, every day, another opportunity to be tested and to learn about myself and the world.

I am not sure what shape this diary will continue to take, but I do like to express my feelings and thoughts about wellness on my own journey.

There is an element of letting go, even of acceptance, that I wish to work toward in my wellness journey. That, I feel, is a piece that will help other more visible elements fall into place.

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