An Introduction to Your New English 101 Instructor

Esteemed English 101 Students,

I enjoyed being your substitute during Week 2 of the quarter and so I was thrilled when Jen asked me to take over the class for her.

Since I didn’t get the chance at the beginning of the course, I would like to take a moment to tell you a little bit more about myself and about who I am as an instructor. My background is in English literature and creative writing. I was one of those kids who always had her nose in a book and I wrote my first poem at the age of seven (an ode to my grandmother’s homemade apple sauce).

I translated this love for reading and writing into a BA in English from Northwest Christian University in Eugene, Oregon, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I have been teaching for nine years now (I can hardly believe it!) and enjoying it more and more every year.

My pedagogy is similar to Jen’s in many of the most important ways. I believe that people learn by doing, not by watching a teacher perform brilliant intellectual stunts in front of a classroom. I also believe strongly that writing is a process. There are few, if any, writers who can spit out an essay whole and perfect in a single sitting. Thus, just as you have been doing, we will continue to practice the various aspects of the writing process together in class, individually at home, and in that weird alone/together space called the Internet.

I have decided to stick with Jen’s syllabus and policies for the remaining four weeks of the quarter, with possible minor tweaking as necessary. Unless you hear otherwise from me, assume that all assignments, policies, etc. are the same as those stated on this blog. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at or come find me in FHL 101 if you have questions or concerns. I am usually available in my office after class until around 4:00 PM Monday through Thursday and I check my email at least once a day Monday through Friday.

Please respond to this post to let me know that you have read and understand the above policies and contact information.

I think it’s going to be a great second-half-of-the-quarter and certainly a great adventure for us all. 🙂


11 thoughts on “An Introduction to Your New English 101 Instructor

  1. Merdaith,

    Sorry if I spelled your name wrong. The blogs and comments are still due on WordPress and the due dates have not changed. The blogs due Sunday night and the comments due on thurs night.

    Thank you, Chelsea (English 101, mon-thurs, 10am-11:20am)

    Sent from my iPad

  2. I am glad you decided to stick with the same thing that Jen was starting us on. I have enjoyed this new learning style and I feel that it may actually be working, but we will see when you critique my essay and sit down with me.

    • I do have a Master’s in creative writing, though I have never actually had the opportunity to teach a creative writing class. (Go figure.) I do hope to teach it some day, but until that day there are many other talented and qualified instructors who teach creative writing here at Clark. You should definitely take it!

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