Teaching

For the mind does not require filling like a bottle, but rather, like wood, it only requires kindling to create in it an impulse to think independently and an ardent desire for the truth.”  — Plutarch

“Roots and wings.  But let the wings grow roots and the roots fly.” [Raices y alas.  Pero que las alas arraiguen y las raices vuelen.]  –Juan Ramon Jimenez

2016-2017: Private Teacher, Irving, Texas

  • I was hired to oversee the homeschooling of a middle school student, and in that capacity I designed a curriculum from scratch in all subjects, conceived of and carried out lesson plans, and devised tests and other methods of evaluation.
  • Subjects taught: English Literature and Composition, Algebra, Life Science, U.S. History and Texas History, World Religions.
  • My student and I covered enough material together in nine months to constitute credits for both seventh grade and eighth grade, and my student was accepted into an elite private school for ninth grade starting this coming fall.

2007-2011: Adjunct Professor, University of Dallas, Irving, Texas

Courses:

  • English 1301 Literary Tradition I (Homer, Virgil, Beowulf, Gawain Poet)
  • English 1302 Literary Tradition II (Dante, Milton, Lyric Poetry)

2007-2008: Director of the Writing Center, University of Dallas, Irving, Texas

2004-2007: Composition Instructor

2004-2007: Writing Center Tutor

As an adjunct professor of English at the University of Dallas, I have taught a broad range of courses in the areas of both literature and rhetoric and composition. The University of Dallas’s core curriculum features a Literary Tradition sequence that brings students into contact with a large portion of the Western literary tradition, including the genres of epic, lyric, drama, and the novel. I have taught the first two courses of this sequence eight times since completing my graduate course work. Teaching ancient, medieval, and early-modern “epic”—Homer, Virgil, the Beowulf poet, Dante, the Gawain poet, and Milton—has proven to be not only an inspiring pedagogical adventure but also a fruitful process of scholarly development. In the classroom, I gradually learned to finesse various viewpoints toward “the classics” into a shared context that can accommodate both respectful mutual inquiry and vibrant intellectual debate. In terms of my own research, my pedagogical journey has helped me more responsibly negotiate the multifarious and often competing fictions of poetic influence that allow twentieth-century writers to locate themselves within—and over and against—various lines of literary and philosophical descent vis-à-vis the “classical.”

In addition to teaching literature courses, I served as the director of the Writing Center at the University of Dallas, in which capacity I trained tutors, oversaw daily operations, devised curricula, and taught composition courses. As a result of this experience, I take for granted that writing with precision and passion inherently involves reading with care and sophistication, and vice versa, and I thus seek to foster a classroom ethos in which hermeneutics, poetics, and rhetoric mutually intersect. In my experience, such an approach manages to introduce students to the intellectual benefits and the manifold delights of scholarly practice.

Additional Teaching

  • 2013: WordSpace Literary Salon. “Wallace Stevens: Tootings at the Wedding of the Soul.” Co-Taught with Martha Heimberg.
  • 2013: University of Dallas. English 6377 Modern Poetry. Guest lecture on Wallace Stevens.
  • 2009-2010: Dallas Shambhala Meditation Center. “Contemplative Poetry: Fresh Perception and the Art of Haiku.” “The Art of Poetry and the Practice of Meditation.”
  • 2009: First Unitarian Church of Dallas. “Poetic Imagination and the Life of the Spirit: Lyric Poetry as Spiritual Sustenance.”

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