I have a stack of former students’ reflection papers on my desk in front of me. As I’m drafting this blog post, I’m picking one up when I’m not sure what to write.
I tell my students that all writers struggle to produce words, and that picking up other writers’ texts can help break through what often feels like a barrier between yourself and the page. (Or, more likely, the screen.) It makes me glad to use their writing for this task now, since so many of them entered my introductory college composition course with devalued ideas about their capabilities and possibilities as writers.
On Sunday, I submitted the grades for my two sections of Business Writing this semester. The next day, I cleaned out my office desk. I am privileged to have been granted a dissertation fellowship for my final year at my university, during which I’ll be able to focus entirely on my research and the job-market-marathon beginning in the fall.
It feels odd knowing that I’ll likely never teach another course at the University of Louisville. Apart from a largely disastrous preceptorial course I organized in my undergraduate Honors program (a story for another time), I learned everything I know about teaching here. My first courses were fall and spring of 2014-15, one a section of introductory college composition and the other a more research-focused composition course. Since then, I’ve taught multiple sections of business writing, scientific and technical writing, and an American literature survey. I learned so much in simply teaching each course.
This post is more of a historical marker for me than a narrative or argument, I suppose. I just feel so lucky to have worked with my students, and to know that while I’ll be out of the classroom for a year, a future of teaching awaits me on the other side of this dissertation. Speaking of which…