I am a recovering English professor–recovering from losing a beloved job. Although I have taught writing of all sorts, from creative stuff to business writing, I have not made the time to just write for me. So, I’m grabbing this period of my life and claiming the right to write.
I have taught for over 20 years in several colleges. Given my husband’s career in the Air Force and the moves we had to make due to that, I have experienced very different administrations and student bodies. I have met students from every walk of life. My favorite is a guy I met while working on my doctorate. He was a paroled prisoner with the ankle bracelet. He hated women and really hated the female instructor who failed him the term before. We wrangled through The Research Paper, 211, but he made it through with a solid ‘B’. The next term, he appeared in an Intro to Literature class. He loved reading–and writing as well. However, he hated women in literature as well as in real life. When we had a serious discussion about his paper on Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, he blew up. The unforgettable line from his paper was,”If I’d been Nora’s husband, she’d have been dancing the tarentella down at the women’s shelter with her kids.” I said, “Re-write this or choose another topic.” He stormed out of my office, then came back and yelled, “I hate women. But I like you.”
I’ve decided to take that as a motto as I write.
My husband of 38 years (who does not hate women) and my 2 sons support my writing endeavors and rarely take me to task for my topics or my presentation. When they do, I listen. We four, we happy four, have toured the world, from Mississippi to England and these things have not changed: we love each other and our country; we laugh more than we argue; and we appreciate the poetry and grace of baseball. You could look it up.