Welcome to English 123 – Introduction to Fiction! Over the next sixteen weeks, we will be working together to discuss some of the most important works of fiction and their adaptations. If you recall from the syllabus, ENGL 123 is an interactive class, not a lecture course. Collaboration is central to this model of teaching and learning. Each person in this community (our class) plays an important role, and it is already assumed that every one of you has something to contribute. Because community is critical in this class, I have decided to write an introductory blog to give you some information about myself. In response, I would like you to write an introductory letter to me. Please email this to me by the second week of class at [email@example.com]. You can model your letter after mine, or you can do something completely different.
To give you a sense of who I am, I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio. I went to a small private high school—a graduating class of 40 students—and longed to go to a large university where I could meet a new person every day.
That desire brought me to University of Colorado at Boulder, where I began my undergraduate career in molecular biology. My interests quickly changed as I became interested in English after taking a contemporary literature class and began to pursue a new major. Unfortunately due to finances, I had to leave after two years. After Boulder, I worked for a number of years at different companies before landing at Job at Apple. During my time at Apple, I was able to move to Boston and finish my degree at Harvard University Extension. After college, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in teaching and went to King’s College London to complete my master’s degree in a new field called Digital Humanities. It was there I discovered my love of digital based research, and realized my ambition to pursue a Ph.D. in English.
I come from a family of doctors and lawyers, so it came as a surprise when I chose to get an advanced degree in English. Currently I am in my fourth year in UNC’s Ph. D program in English and Comparative Literature with a focus on 18th/19thCentury British Literature and Digital Humanities. In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I am working on an article that examines prize books, given to secondary school children in the 19thcentury. I examine how the emergence of print culture impacted the way the book was viewed as not only a vehicle for knowledge, but as a fine art object. In my spare time, I explore the triangle with my wife. We like to read, write, and hit the microbrewery scene.
Now it’s your turn to write your introductory letter to me. This is the time and space to tell me about you. What you decide to tell me will be at your discretion (it is for my eyes only). It would be helpful if you tell me how you feel about reading (be honest). What are some of your experiences with reading (academic or otherwise)? What do you find most worrisome about taking an English course? What are your personal goals this semester (please include at least three goals)?
I am delighted to begin getting to know you and working with you this semester.
Lastly, please provide me at least three (3) different dates that you would like to be the in-class discussion leader.