On the first day of class, I write two questions on the board: "Who is this guy?" and "What will this class be like (will it be hard)?" Here, I will give a partial answer to the first; to the other you will have to come to the first day's class to get that answer.
Many years ago -- before the first space shuttle -- I was a typical high school dropout. I had grown up with low expectations. "If you just get "Cs" I will be happy. I doubt you'll graduate anyway," is what I had heard from my step-father repeatedly since I started getting grades. The highest GPA I earned was the semester I had five PE classes and biology. I skipped classes to be with my girlfriend and saw no reason to go to school. I made great money as carpenter during the summers and made decent money working restaurants in the winter. Being attached to the pay of working and the girlfriend simply pushed school out of my life.
In a story too long to tell, I found life rough and turned back to college -- with the help of friends. Those friends helped me get through, first at a community college, then at universities. In over twice as many years as it would have taken if I had finished high school and gone straight to college, I earned a B.A. with honors in English, a Masters in English, and Juris Doctorate. I have taught community college students for the better part of twenty years. I like teaching the people who use the community college path. I hope to see you in my classes.
On the various pages below, you will find core elements of my approach to teaching writing. I hope you find them useful; many students over the years -- some heading to nursing school, some general transfer, one currently at Harvard -- have said that this approach really helped them.
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