With us

Like I said, we want to meet you! In the comments below, we’ll introduce ourselves, and we hope you’ll do the same.

We’re interested to know whatever you feel like telling us, and we have particular curiosity about:

  • Whether you’ve taught before, in what setting;
  • How you feel about the prospect of teaching at QC– whether you come to this with the especially jangly jitters of a new teacher or with the relatively subtle jitters of an experienced teacher entering a new and different classroom;
  • What you study, or what you write;
  • What you especially like to read, or maybe what you’re reading now;
  • What you remember most– with particular fondness or not– from your own education as a writer; and/or
  • What kind of teacher you hope to become in your future as a teacher.

(We understand that you can’t address all of our curiosity at once, here! We’re throwing it all out there so you can pick and choose as you like.)

 

24 thoughts on “With us”

  1. Hi! I’ll start.

    I’m Gloria Fisk, and I’m directing First Year Writing this year. As an Associate Professor in the English Department, I write about contemporary world literature.

    Obviously, I am CUNY faculty, but I also identify strongly that way– I *love* CUNY, and I especially love QC. I feel confident that you will, too, but I don’t want to oversell it by saying why. You’ll meet your students. You’ll see.

    Our students animate all of the administrative work I do at First Year Writing. Coming to it neither as a rhet/comp scholar nor as a full-time administrator, I take it as part of my mission to reject the kind of talk I sometimes hear from my colleagues about writing instruction– as if it is just the drudgery we have to do to pay the bills, so we can get back to loftier pursuits.

    I find that line of thinking to be unsavory and ill-fitting with my experience. I believe in the work of FYW with the sincerity of a true nerd, and also with the activist spirit that animates CUNY. At FYW, we work to prepare every QC student to convey their ideas in writing to others as they also practice their engagements with a scholarly community that extends far beyond our classes. I think that is a beautiful and important thing to do.

    It is also intellectually challenging, as you’ll see, too.

    As for my writing processes, I am feeling a bit angsty about those at the moment, because I’m struggling to finish an article that I’ve revised wayyy too many times. At the same time, I’m feeling especially grateful for my own scholarly community, because my writing group just gave me new life to revise it *again*.

    That article is part of my second book, which develops a theory about the representation of structural violence in contemporary world literature. Alongside it, I just finished a new essay in a cluster about Sally Rooney’s *Normal People*, and I’m working on another article about Valeria Luiselli’s *Lost Children Archive*.

    I am also going back and reading the collected works of Simone Weil. I read her entire oeuvre when I was in graduate school, and it is really speaking to me about the ethical/political darkness we find ourselves in at the moment.

    You?

    1. PS I forgot to say: I’ve never used Google Classroom before, and I am a devoted user of WordPress/Qwriting, so I will be learning something new with you there-!

  2. Greetings! I’m Alexis, known by administrators and official email as Anna Alexis Larsson. In my dissertation on writing, wellbeing, and procedural rhetoric, I draw from Gregory Bateson’s “ecological” learning theory, Eve K. Sedgwick’s use of the reparative, and John Tresch’s adoption of Peter Sloterdijk’s concept of “anthropotechnics” to develop pro writing, wellbeing, and inclusive pedagogy within a “critical posthumanist” conceptual framework. Phew! It’s a mouthful; however, in practice it is also a lot of fun.

    As the capstone project for my certificate in Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, I created a web application to capture and verify the labor and “metadata” of student freewrites without sharing their content. It’s called BlabRyte, an anagram from Bartleby coined by my collaborator, A.B. I will be using BlabRyte during my synchronous class freewrites online this summer. My favorite element of the app is the “timeout mode,” a write-or-die option in the assignment that slowly deletes the writing if the writer pauses for more than ten seconds.

    The ITP training and my subsequent research in systems and procedural rhetoric gave me an awareness of the online learning environment in terms of its site-specific limits and affordances. Remembering, from Lloyd Bitzer, that constraints produce possibilities at the same time as they cut off other possibilities, I build the asynchronous parts of my Google Classroom site to be task-specific–balancing across the spectrum of cognitive processes described here: https://tinyurl.com/yavh2ybo. I aim for manageable, discrete steps that help students build a history of small accomplishments that develop into bigger projects. For the last three years, I have also been a Writing in the Disciplines fellow at LaGuardia Community College, where I consulted faculty across the disciplines (including physics and accounting!) on how to do this kind of thing.

    Teaching FYW involves mastery; no class starts out with the shared assumptions that experienced writers often take for granted. That’s a large part of why it is so challenging AND rewarding. FYW is also about developing academic thinking skills through textual analysis, something that takes more than one semester to develop. I am continually impressed with CUNY students’ readiness to engage in the creative and intellectual demands as writers, and I grow from the similar demands on me to engage and think with them. From my first year at Queens to now, I have benefitted from the guiding mantra, from Sean Molloy, “You get what you teach.”

    It is truly a privilege to teach at QC, as you will see.

  3. Hi, everyone!

    My name is Megan Paslawski, and I’m the Director of QC’s First Year Experience program and a Lecturer in English. I graduated from the Grad Center’s English program in 2018, which means that I know how lucky you are to have Gloria (and Chris!) hosting your orientation. She co-led our workshops when I was a new GTF at Queens, and I still think about those sessions all the time while teaching. I was so nervous as a new teacher, but I always left uplifted by possibility!

    I’ll be telling you more about FYE during your orientation, so I’ll be brief here. Our program’s mission is ensuring that all new students thrive during their first year at Queens College. This means that we offer a network of support that you can access too: a peer mentorship program, learning communities for new freshmen, and practical and philosophical backing for first-year experiential learning. I’m really excited to talk with you about ways FYE can help meet the pedagogical ambitions you’re discussing here.

    As for me, my academic interests include 20th/21st Century American Literature, Creative Writing & Archival Publishing, and LGBTQ Studies. My focus on LGBTQ life writing in particular nourishes much of the work I do at FYE and at QC more generally, since studying writers who received their accolades too late redoubles my commitment to ensuring that all of our students feel at home in the academy right now. I’m currently co-editing a collection of Lucia Berlin’s unpublished letters for CUNY’s Lost & Found Press and working on an article about how recent critical conceptions of “autotheory” may open space to recognize the pedagogical-theoretical work done by such popular life writers as Janet Mock.

    For now, welcome to Queens College! I’m looking forward to meeting you all.

    1. Hi Megan! Remember me?! NeMLA 2018 was it? I’m still trying to get back to the mapping project & a chance to explore it further through teaching a lit course potentially one of these days! Yay, queer life-writing! I taught Rebecca Solnit this term, but alas not enough time to fully go down my nerd rabbit trail there fully..

  4. Hi, I’m Nicole. I am a first-year PhD student at the Graduate Center doing work at the intersection of the digital and environmental humanities. I am interested in things like: infrastructure, agriculture/botany, multispecies thought, critical making, archives, and data visualization.

    I was previously an MS student at NYU Engineering where I focused on data visualization, critical making, and critical tech studies. Before that, I was at the University of Edinburgh engaging ideas of 19thc culture and technology as represented through literature.

    In the past, I’ve taught coding and sundry tech skills to school-age children with learning disabilities and/or special needs. I’m not entirely sure that’s relevant here(!), but it’s my experience nonetheless.

    I’m definitely excited to teach at QC, but continue to be concerned about the social distancing aspect, and how we’ll manage that.

    I personally lean quite heavily toward interdisciplinary approaches–both in considering my own work and my teaching goals. I am interested in the ways we communicate with folks across disciplines–particularly across the humanities and sciences. I don’t think we often enough *actually* consider the ways we communicate with others, especially with those who come from incredibly disparate fields of study.

    @gloria: I would love to read your piece on Normal People! I haven’t read it, but am haunted by the commercials on Hulu and cannot decide whether or not to commit (and, if so, in what way).

    I am currently reading many and various books by 19thc American botanists for a paper I am writing (if you want to chat about “manure teas” or the differences in clover species and what they might mean for your field, do let me know!). I am also trying to finish up Powers’ The Overstory whenever I have a free moment.

    1. Sounds very relevant! I find data visualization itself taxing and something I don’t fully understand (at this point my math skills are rusty), but I am curious about the potential for new ways to envision the world.

  5. Hi, everyone! I’m Chris, the Associate Director of FYW and a Lecturer in the English Department. I wended my way to the field of composition/writing studies while completing a Creative Writing MFA at Columbia University School of the Arts. One of the unique strengths of FYW at QC is that our program draws from the diversity that each director brings to the table; we each come from different fields of study and areas of research but all share a passion for the multifaceted work and multitalented people of our FYW program. I have found deep satisfaction pursuing an intellectual and creative career here at QC and am confident it will provide you an invaluable foundation for your own professional path.

    My approach to directing FYW and teaching is not only influenced by my dual professional self-identity as a writing program administrator and a creative writer but also by my social identity as an “accented” immigrant of color to the United States, an identity I share with many of my QC students. As I am sure you know, QC is home to a racially and linguistically diverse student body, many of whom are first-in-their-family college students from working-class, immigrant families. Therefore, I use David Bartholomae’s ideas in his seminal essay “Inventing the University” as my pedagogical starting point: I aim to help students not only craft the discourses of fields of study in their writing but also to conceive of and position themselves as active, deserving, and indispensable members of and participants in their university community.

    I’ve presented in various composition/writing studies conferences and fora over the past few years on supporting multilingual students in FYW classrooms. Most recently, I co-presented with English Lecturer and Writing Center Director Marco Navarro at the CUNY English Summit 2019 on the topic “Four Integrated Approaches to Supporting Multilingual Student Acceleration at Queens College.” I am currently working on shaping my curricular work and administrative thinking around multilingualism into an article that is particularly concerned with the WPA perspective. I am also researching and thinking about the interplay between pedagogical practices and administrative directives with the hope to produce an article on “pedagogical ecosystems” in FYW programs.

    On the creative side, I am currently working on completing two book-length projects: a literary novel titled God of Bacchanal and the first book in a YA series titled The Girl with the Forgetting Disease. I also write non-fiction about my uber-religious upbringing in the Caribbean; last year, I read the short piece “I am the Justin Bieber of Tobago” at Deepwater Literary Fest which draws from my time as the leader of a locally well-known Christian boy band. In the future, I’d like to craft such autobiographical pieces into a longer project.

    What kind of teacher I hope to be? I want to be a teacher that makes the invisible visible. Let’s talk more about what I mean by this when we meet :)

    1. Awesome vision! Thanks for sharing the range of your interests too as writer and scholar! Looking forward to more!

  6. Hi all. I’m Ryan. I will be super brief. I am an Assistant Professor in the English Department, where I serve as Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing. I’m sorry we can’t meet in person. Our annual orientation always highlights for me the shared pedagogies across our FYW courses, major and non major courses, and creative writing courses. And it’s always a thrill to meet new faculty.

    In fall 2019, my colleague Scott Cheshire and I developed a teaching blog for English 210W: Introduction to Creative Writing. If you have the opportunity to teach 210W in the spring, this blog will serve as your primary resource. It intentionally mirrors aspects of our 110 blog. I’d be happy to talk more about the blog, and about creative writing at Queens College in general, but for now here’s the link:

    http://teachingcreativewriting.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu/

    I look forward to seeing everyone on Friday!

  7. Hello all,

    I’m Kim Smith, the Academic Program Coordinator in the English department. I supervise the day-to-day workings in the department to ensure that the office runs as smoothly as possible, and that faculty needs are met with the highest level of professionalism and efficiency. Briefly, the majority of your contact with me will be through email. There will be emails that I will note for you to save for future reference. These are emails with important information that you may need on a continuous basis. I’ll ask that you would create a folder for these types of emails. I handle the scheduling of days and times for your classes and any issues my colleagues cannot address. Jamie Arizmendy, with whom you may have already corresponded, will be your prime contact for processing and payroll inquiries. We have two assistants in the office on a morning (Tiffany) and evening (John) shift. They will also assist with any needs you may have.

  8. Hello! I’m Katie Machen (pronounced may-chin) and I’m a first-year MFA student in creative nonfiction at QC. I got my BA in English Literature and French at Franklin & Marshall College in 2015 and have spent the intervening years in France, Pennsylvania, New Zealand, and finally New York. I moved to Jackson Heights in August but have been sheltering in place with family in Maryland for the past eight weeks or so.

    My previous teaching experiences have been varied, from teaching ESL to adult refugees and to French middle and high schoolers (through the TAPIF program) to teaching kids in China online, which I just started doing this week, actually. I’ve also led creative writing workshops with kids grades 4-12 and while in college worked as a Writing Center tutor. I’m a little nervous about teaching in the fall and, like everyone, am especially nervous about navigating everything online. But I’m also really so excited.

    I read primarily contemporary fiction and creative nonfiction. I just finished TRUST EXERCISE by Susan Choi and am now onto WRITERS & LOVERS by Lily King. Other writing I’ve loved recently include both DEPT OF SPECULATION and WEATHER by Jenny Offill, CLEANNESS by Garth Greenwell, and BLOOD, BONES, & BUTTER by Gabrielle Hamilton; I’m an avid baker and have found myself writing about food (mostly bread) for the past several months and plan to seek out more food writing. Favorite works of cnf include IN THE DREAM HOUSE by Carmen Maria Machado, PRIESTDADDY by Patricia Lockwood, HEAVY by Kiese Laymon, and LONG LIVE THE TRIBE OF FATHERLESS GIRLS by T Kira Madden, amongst others. I’d also love to read those essays, Gloria! I devoured NORMAL PEOPLE and am enjoying the show. And LOST CHILDREN ARCHIVE was my favorite novel I read last year.

    In this weirdo quarantine situation, my writing focus has ebbed and flowed; I don’t feel a lack of ideas, but I’ve sometimes had trouble keeping my butt in the chair. Class deadlines (now completed) and writing at the same time as friends have helped. I’ve been working on a bunch of disparate essays which I hope will come together at some point in a way that makes some sort of sense. I’m starting to envision a collection centering on themes of care, home, community, fermentation…

    I have so much fondness for my own education as a writer, and my teachers have always been my biggest mentors; several are now my close friends. I felt fortunate to have strong relationships with my high school English teachers, and I sought out similar relationships when I reached college. As an undergrad, I took just as many creative writing classes as I did lit in part because I loved the way my professors gave so much of themselves to their students and created warm, rigorous, encouraging spaces for writing workshops. Most every other professor I had, English or otherwise, was just as generous and helped me to grow as a writer. I hope to exude that same spirit of welcome, safety, and rigor to help my students grow and gain confidence in their writing. And I’m so grateful to learn aside all of you!

  9. Hi everyone, my name is Daniella DiMaggio and I am a fiction candidate in the QC MFA Program in Creative Writing. I mainly write fiction but I also dabble in poetry. I have never taught before but I am a writing consultant at the QC Writing Center. I have mainly done one on one sessions, but I have led a couple of workshops as well (creative and academic). Over the summer, I was fortunate enough to attend a series of workshops at Bard that concerned teaching writing, specifically how one thinks about writing from both a teacher’s and student’s pov.

    I do have some jitters about teaching my first class but I am very excited. In addition to tutoring at the Writing Center, I went to QC for my BA in media studies. I tutored as an undergraduate as well so I’m pretty familiar with the student body. I think QC has a wonderful collection of students who are mostly eager to learn and I am honored to work with them. Of course, with all that being said, I am a bit anxious about the social distancing aspect for the fall semester as well.

    As for my writing, I have been working on a novel for a few years, but I have taken breaks from it to work on short stories and poetry for my classes, and for myself. I’m eager to get back to my novel over summer. Currently, I’m working on two final projects: one short story and a poetry project that is turning more into a lyric essay. It has been a bit difficult to write during our current situation. It’s hard to feel creative/motivated, but daily practice has helped.

    I like to read texts that deal with trauma, identity, and memory. I am currently reading Claudia Rankine’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely and Laura Kasischke’s poetry collection, Space, in Chains. I have been reading a lot of poetry lately because that’s the workshop I am taking this semester, but I tend to gravitate towards fiction.

    I really cherish my own education as a writer. What stands out to me overall is how so many teachers over the years have helped me push boundaries, both in my academic and creative writing. They encouraged me to look at things (texts, characters, plot, etc.) from multiple povs and challenged me to take risks in my writing. What I hope to be as a teacher is what I am to be as a writing consultant; I want to push students to think outside of the box while also helping them develop autonomy as a writer.

  10. Hi!! I’m Mitchell, and I’m an English PhD student in my first year at the CUNY Graduate Center. I work mostly on the Victorian novel and lately I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the intersections of provincialism, empire studies, colonialism, and genre fiction. I’m relatively new to the city; up until moving to NYC to start my coursework at the GC, I had lived in Maryland my whole life. In my free time I do sincerely enjoy reading Victorian novels; Middlemarch is my favorite! I also like detective fiction. I started out as a Christie fan in high school, but more recently I’ve been reading Louise Penny’s novels.

    This will be my first year teaching, and I’m very excited to start learning best practices for the classroom. Admittedly, I’m a bit intimidated at the prospect of teaching, as my most analogous experience is working as a swim instructor’s assistant for children aged about three to twelve, but I’m also eager for the challenge and to help students through their first year writing coursework in these trying times.

    My previous writing instruction experience feels very distant now. At my undergrad institution we had two required writing courses, a first-year writing class and specialized professional writing class (usually taken in one’s junior or senior year). I don’t have great sense of what college first-year writing courses look like because I fulfilled the first year requirement with AP exam credit. I worry too that the latter course does not provide me a great frame of reference either, as the course I took was “Scholarly Writing in the Humanities,” which I imagine will be quite different from the work I’ll be doing in ENGL 110. I did enjoy writing a self-guided research project on The Office and Restoration-era comedies of manners. That freedom to research something fun is probably my fondest memory from that course.

    I hope to develop myself into a helpful and proactive instructor who takes seriously the concerns of his students. Most fundamentally, I want to bring a sense of compassion, care, and empathy into the classroom, which is especially imperative given the COVID-19 crisis. I’m excited to meet and work with all of you!

  11. Hi, everyone! My name is Rebecca Suzuki and I am a student in the MFA program at QC, on the literary translation track. I translate mostly contemporary fiction by women writers from Japanese to English, and I currently also translate newspaper articles on a freelance basis for a nonprofit paper called City Limits.

    I am in the process of editing my translation of a contemporary novel by Natsuko Imamura. It’s a strange tale about a woman who stalks another woman and tells her story. I also like to write my own short stories, though I have to admit I haven’t written anything since last semester.

    I took Gloria’s class on Structural Violence this semester (absolutely LOVED it, and I’m not just saying that…) and so the last book I read was Toni Morrison’s BELOVED for her class. It was my third time reading the novel but I still ate it up. What a masterpiece, really! I think I’m going to read Vikram Seth’s THE GOLDEN GATE next. It’s a novel written in verse composed of 590 Onegin stanzas (Pushkin sonnets). But yeah, I try to read very widely because I am constantly learning from everything I read, though I have a strong pull towards works in translation and Japanese Literature. Some of my favorite Japanese writers are Hiromi Kawakami, Yoshimoto Banana, Natsume Soseki, and Yasunari Kawabata.

    I am definitely feeling the jangly jitters of a new teacher! I have taught before, but never at a college level. I spent a year in Japan teaching English to children (their age range varied from 6 months old to adults), and I really loved the relationship I built with my students. Something uniquely rewarding about being a teacher…

    I think I remember every one of the teachers I’ve had in my life, and I think just about all of them had some sort of impact on me. I particularly remember my ESL teacher in the fourth grade, though. I moved to Queens from Japan and was thrown into public school without knowing any English. I remember feeling lost and afraid except when I was in that ESL class. She made me feel okay that I couldn’t understand a single thing. She had so much patience, letting me take my own time to learn. I’d love to be a patient, understanding teacher too.

  12. Hi everyone! My name is Rani Srinivasan and I am just finishing up my first year in the Queens College English Master’s Program. I did my Bachelor’s at Queens College, then I had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Oxford. My work is primarily focused on postcolonial studies and South Asian literature. Right now, I am writing an article that considers how the function of India’s liminal spaces and figures has changed given the recent amendment to the Citizenship Act of 1955 and the Covid-19 outbreak.

    I have spent the past five years as a student at Queens College, and I am excited to begin teaching here as well. I worked at the Queens College Writing Center as writing tutor for three years, and I also helped design a series of workshops where women and queer students could safely discuss the issues they struggled with in their college classrooms. I also worked as a writing tutor with the QC Language Lab for a year, and I served as a TA for a QC English 115 course (I’m pretty sure that was the course number, but it was a little while ago so I could be wrong).

    Most of my work as a writing tutor revolved around students in English 110 classes. It has given me a unique insight into what students found helpful, what they struggled with, and what they wish worked differently. That said, I think distance learning on this scale is going to present a challenge unlike anything we’ve faced previously. As a writer and a student, I am typically pretty motivated, but getting in the right headspace to write during this quarantine has been especially difficult. I am worried that my students will also find it challenging to remain motivated in these times. As a teacher, I want to make sure my students are able to engage with the course material in a way that is meaningful for them without feeling overwhelmed. For me, I think this will mean remaining attentive to my student’s needs while injecting a little humor into my lesson plans.

  13. Hi, I’m Sukie, also a first year PhD student at the GC’s English department. I’m interested in: queer of color critique, anticolonial studies, Asian American/Diaspora literature, and more.

    I’ve taught first year writing for a year at Tufts University, which is a setting very different from QC’s—my class size was small (10 or less) and the students were less diverse—so I still feel very anxious (but also excited) about teaching at QC. I also worked as a writing consultant at writing centers, and taught English to students whose first language is not English.

    Recently I’ve been reading a lot of Dionne Brand’s poetry, especially because I find it difficult to focus on longer texts like novels. As a teacher I want to be mindful of how COVID-19 has affected the lives of my students and create a classroom in which both students and I can care for one another.

  14. Hello! I’m Rachael, the Assistant to the Directors of FYW and an Adjunct Lecturer at QC and BMCC. I’m a graduate of the GC MALS program (concentration was in Africana Studies). I have attended and worked at a total of six CUNY colleges! Prior to working at CUNY, I was an editor and worked in print/online publishing and marketing.

    My academic interests are in the performance of identity—who we are in any given space and why, along with the power dynamics that compel those performances and create the spaces. I’m currently working on/thinking about academic writing that discusses building rhetorical reading practices. When I’m not reading student essays, I’m working on a novel about the trickster figure.

    Teaching FYW is my career goal, because it gives me the privilege of welcoming students to the conversation of academic writing and fostering the understanding that we are interested in what they have to say. Teaching at QC also means working with a *community* of instructors who are always willing to collaborate and share teaching strategies. I love teaching at Queens College!

    I want to be the teacher who students visit a semester or two later to say they’re glad that I challenged them because it prepared them for what came next (yes, that has actually happened).

    1. Hi Rachael, thanks for sharing! I’m becoming very interested in performance studies as it relates to poetry & speech act too. I also had a chance to meet a couple folk from BMCC English dept recently too. Very generous faculty! Some you may know too!

    2. Hi Rachael, thanks for sharing! I’m becoming very interested in performance theory in terms of poetry and the speech act too. Also, I met some English faculty at BMCC recently too – maybe you know them! Very kind generous people!

  15. Hi! I am Paris Shih. I am a first-year PhD student in the English program at the GC. I received my BA and MA in English from National Chengchi University, Taiwan. I used to be an early modernist, and wrote my MA thesis on Shakespeare and early modern sexualities (thus, a huge fan of Mario DiGangi and Will Fisher’s works!). But currently I am doing 18th and 19th century studies. I want to explore the intersection of the early modern and the modern periods, and how the 18th and the 19th centuries reconceptualized early modern ideas of gender, sexuality, and race.

    I have never officially taught a class before, but I worked as a teaching assistant for three years at National Chengchi University. One of the courses was the so-called “core course,” and I was responsible for teaching one hour each week. As a teaching assistant, I needed to lead discussion groups, grade papers, and respond to students’ questions and needs, so I have some experience in teaching and mentoring students. I hope my experience would help me in my first year teaching at Queens!

    Besides academic research, I also write for literary and cultural magazines in Taiwan. I find writing for the general public has turned me into a better writer, because you really need to know what you are writing about, and write it with clarity and grace, to paraphrase Joseph Williams’s famous book. While I mostly wrote for the Chinese-speaking world, I want to publish some articles in English in the near future.

    I am very excited to teach at Queens, because my faculty mentor (Carrie Hintz) and my advisor (Talia Schaffer) are both teaching here. I am also moving to Queens this summer, so I look forward to exploring the area and its diverse cultures!

  16. Hi All,

    I’m Kara. I’ve been teaching online at CUNY currently plus in MFA classes, hence my delay to join the chain here. I am an MFA Poetry Candidate at QC (entering my third & final – thesis – year in the fall 2020). I currently am an Adjunct Lecturer at York College and QCC CUNY, and I love my CUNY students and eager to grow more connections with extended community at QC.

    Honestly, though I am very much here just for myself. I’ve been teaching college writing now 6 years (since I studied for my first masters in 2014-2016), and I am most eager to explore how the “Rhet/Comp” piece and teaching practice may help me (even unconsciously) connect more of my own varied research/writing practices together for greater wholeness beyond feeling like a “scattered” academic, constant “dabbler.”

    I’ve taught first-year writing in a variety of styles now (because I’ve been in multiple state systems from Ohio, Michigan, Florida to New York). Beyond COMP 1, I love COMP 2 especially if I have the liberty to make it a bit “Intro to Lit” style, though I have also grown greatly through Rhet/Comp prior training in pedagogy, actually engaging very passionately in a lot of digital rhetoric, literary narrative and ethnography/discourse analysis myself. Now at York College, I have also been teaching WRIT 300, basically Research Writing for the Majors, my first pride & joy to teach junior status students (besides the juniors & seniors somehow still trickling in late to COMP)!

    I think my greatest nerves this year 2020 is feeling on the crux of something, even in spite of the pandemic. Aside from teaching, I’ve been on a lot of Zoom creative writing reading calls and made some of my own comics & zines, almost overstimulated, never knowing whether it’s fueling my creative writing (poetry/memoir/hybrid) or my scholarship and teaching. It tends to all be caught up together for me and inseparable. I am also working on some erasure/collage driven zines–the erasure project was a bit inspired by my language poetry lessons with my students, very much in memory of my face-to-face time with my QCC students when my last day with them I’d grabbed the student newsprint to give them and have them make erasures themselves in COMP class and alas we were running out of time already and they walked out the door with some but me the most myself to recycle or do something with…

    What I want to teach and read more of: language poetry, documentary poetics, Filipinx writers, Latinx poetics, stories of trauma & memory, queer life-writing… I also am majorly interested in art, museum studies & a curatorial practice that I believe belongs in COMP and has helped me find my belonging even more so in an interdisciplinary/digital/public humanities. When will creative criticism & auto-theory ever truly be embraced in the academy? I just read Lara Mimosa Montes’ Thresholes, and wow the book shook me to my core!

    Teaching at QC is a bit of a dream come true and still feels much a dream. (It’s hard sometimes to know what this reality actually means of, to, for me.) I first visited NYC for an English grad conference at Stony Brook, then visited the GC exploring the English PhD, then met several CUNY faculty at NeMLA… Eventually, I took the leap (or leaps) and the rest has been well exploring the strangeness of my own whole new world. I’ve ended up writing about everything from disability & identity, to digital love and online dating, to trash on the street, in my MFA.. and yet I don’t think any of the writing is going to make it into my thesis. I think I have at least 6 projects started now. Maybe I need to retake Kimiko Hahn’s craft class on closure!

    This semester I was commuting to 4 CUNY’s when we were face-to-face, as I took my first GC English PhD course this semester, on the transfer permit system. The last months have been a struggle, as my attention to what my body unconsciously felt knew grew. I’ve spilled about 9000 words towards my memoir, I suppose, possibly, before I could start re-stitching together the pieces of my very dense theory brain. The easiest way to sum it up may be “intense PhD pitch moment.” When I first visited the GC, I met Nancy K. Miller, I met Meena Alexander, I own probably every book by Wayne Koestenbaum.. This past year when we were on campus I also had the pleasure to extend a bit beyond “MFA land” if you will and connect with Jason Tougaw and Seo-Young Chu, and I’m fascinated by their work, as I’m investigating trauma memory and illness, writing and therapy, haunting memories, spaces & maps, home, the value of forgetting, both critically and creatively, ideally both/and together.

    Some of my strangest fondest memories from undergrad? One CNF prof used to say “My office door may be closed, but it’s metaphorically open.” I used to imagine my brit lit prof carrying Milton over her head, as she told us all to buy our sun lamps. The irony there was that we were at a Christian college, and she taught us Shakespeare (1 course) & Milton (1 course focused all on Milton too), so it wasn’t Shakespeare first or the Bible, it was Milton, and so many of us were bored out of our minds! We found Milton so obsolete I guess then, even as somehow I was even then trying to critique the Disney theme park via a Miltonic gaze. She hated that paper! But my favorite prof taught us American lit, and I always called him the Machiavellian Prince. Somehow to me the dynamic of prof has always been a bit like that to be feared and loved.. And I still am slightly resentful of him for the “A-” simply because I quoted too many sources by Foucault on a 20-source 20-pg single-space annotated bibliography for my senior thesis portion before the actual paper.. I hope I’m not as tough of a grader as he was and as I used to be, especially now, grading in the pandemic! I can connect so much with my students too having taught since fresh out of undergrad myself. My identity formation has very much taken place in the classroom, though my experience is probably very different than any– so very very high the ethic & the pressure & guilt of an evangelical Christian college.. I was in a bubble. Grammar is not my focus; just give me your own interesting idea & show me your voice.

    Anyway, that’s more than enough about my journey!

    ~Kara

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