Thus the purpose of this site is two-fold. As an educator and a writer, I hope to accomplish the following goals: one, to consolidate my teaching materials in order to better communicate with future employers, students, and parents; and two, to publish my essays on current events and culture from a literary perspective in order to both generate and open discussion.
I created the “About” page, or ePortofolio, after attending a panel discussion about employment in the humanities. One presenter encouraged us to create ePortfolios so that we would have a place to elaborate about our experiences and attract potential employers. Mine grew from a place to house my resume, to a place to consolidate successful lessons and the philosophies that underpin them. Once I am back in the classroom, I intend to use the site as a way to effectively communicate with students and their parents.
The essay portion of this site emerged from the last paper I wrote to earn my Master of Arts degree at Georgetown University. In the paper, I argued for an application of Edward Said’s ideas to English departments in order that they might foster both productive dialogue with leaders and discussions among themselves. Going back farther in time, I had a discussion with the editor of Contrary Magazine regarding the role of intellectuals, particularly those in the humanities. In response to a radical and impractical proposal of mine to force English professors and policymakers to talk to each other, he suggested that we need “translators,” people to offer some of the great insights of professors to “ordinary” people, and in “ordinary” language.
Far too often, I believe, jargon obscures innovative research methodologies and incredible findings. Unnecessary complexity prevents creative thought from reaching those outside the proverbial ivory tower. And the excess of polarizing ideas renders true conversation difficult.
Yet, I also believe in the value of an education in the humanities—in itself, and for the value it adds to the many other aspects of our work and personal lives. To that end, I aim to discuss culture and current events from a literary perspective; that is, using the tools I have learned from countless professors and many hours of analysis, I intend to provide a fresh perspective on cultural developments, one that will not foreclose discussion—I will avoid jargon, absolutes, and obscurity for the sake of obscurity—but that instead will encourage thoughtfulness. As I attempt to apply the methodologies and perspectives gained from a literary education to culture and politics, I invite you to join me.
I welcome your comments and questions on both the essays and lessons posted here. Thanks for visiting!