Hiking Like A Woman, Part II

Last year I wrote about several women who are tough as nails, hiking the Appalachian Trail through rain and pain (read Part I here). This year I'm blown away by how many women are on the trail, and how little sexism I've witnessed compared to last year's alpha male surplus. They're thru-hiking in every bubble and … Continue reading Hiking Like A Woman, Part II

Education is the Practice of Freedom

"The vast majority of our professors...used the classroom to enact rituals of control that were about domination and the unjust exercise of power. In these settings I learned a lot about the kind of teacher I did not want to become." -- bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress When my observer asked me about letting my students … Continue reading Education is the Practice of Freedom

Teaching Consent, Revisited

The sad thing about teaching a composition course in which sexual violence is the major topic, is that it is always still relevant. An updated report from the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the Education Department says that there are now 306 sexual violence cases being investigated at 225 schools in the U.S. These investigations result from the … Continue reading Teaching Consent, Revisited

Use Secondary Sources in College Composition, But Use Them Wisely

About to begin teaching my favorite second-level composition course for the sixth time, I can safely say that I know every required secondary reading has a clear purpose in the syllabus. I look forward to how each one will inform and pivot in-class discussion, deepening our understanding of the primary texts and how they've been … Continue reading Use Secondary Sources in College Composition, But Use Them Wisely

Hiking Like a Woman

Twenty-five percent of thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail are women, and, let me tell you, these are hardcore women who take after the Mary Rowlandsons and Hannah Dustans of America. Before I reached the 100-mile mark, however, I had already heard several hikers use the phrase, "I'm going to take this mountain like a man," … Continue reading Hiking Like a Woman

Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus” & Star Trek

It's the end of the semester, and we've finally arrived at our poetry unit. After wrapping up Chopin's The Awakening, we spent two days on Dickinson, discussing death (in an unintentional transition from Chopin's controversial ending), the im/materiality of Dickinson's imagery, and, of course, the metaphorical meanings in Dickinson's punctuation, her masterful dashes. I introduced Dickinson and … Continue reading Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus” & Star Trek

Teaching The Awakening + One Speed Writing Exercise

I've been teaching Kate Chopin's The Awakening (1899) in the Intro to Writing About Literature course for two years, and I've found it fits a shorter paper assignment better than it does a research paper (you can read my writing prompt for the short paper here). However, this semester I taught Chopin immediately after the long research paper … Continue reading Teaching The Awakening + One Speed Writing Exercise

Feminist Pedagogy: Scaffolding the Research Paper

Teaching Consent in the College Classroom (Part 2) [Read Part 1] Backwards Pedagogy and a Gender Studies theme for the semester turned out some really thorough and unique research papers in my Intro to Writing About Literature class. As I'm grading: there are papers drawing from medieval science and the humours as well as neonatology and … Continue reading Feminist Pedagogy: Scaffolding the Research Paper

Teaching Consent in the College Classroom

When I began teaching Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew in 2014, I didn't expect we'd end up talking about the NFL with my English composition students. Ray Rice, who had been playing for the Baltimore Ravens was suspended for assaulting his then-fiance Janay Palmer, who married him after the incident much to the consternation of the feminist blogosphere. However, when … Continue reading Teaching Consent in the College Classroom