Aug 05

Celebrating 25 Years of Teaching

This month marks my 25th anniversary as a teacher of writing (and sometimes Afro-American Studies). It is my 14th year at Washington University evening school (University College), my first year as an online instructor in the MFA program at Lindenwood University. I have twice taught graduate creative nonfiction writing at UMSL (which seriously needs a creative-nonfiction prof), three times in the Washington University Summer Writers Institute, taught  undergraduate composition and creative writing at St. Louis Community College, Wash U and Syracuse University, and taught for the first five years of the St. Louis Writers Workshop, plus half-day workshops in UMSL's "Just Write" program and various and sundry guest teaching and lecture spots at OASIS, Lifelong Learning, Lindenwood U, Webster U, and Poets in the Schools.

 I've got a lot to share. So if you want to take a course or workshop with me--you will not be sorry! And thank you for letting others know, too!

Fall 2011:
Washington University, University College (online registration is now open)
  • U11-225, "Introduction to Creative Writing," Thursdays, 6-8:30 p.m. Try out poetry writing, fiction writing, and creative nonfiction writing in this workshop class. Class 15 weeks, 3 credits, begins August 31. Half-price for over age 60. University College
  • U11-320, "The Art of the Essay," Wednesdays, 6-8:30 p.m. Write and workshop essays and read historic essays. Class 15 weeks, 3 credits, begins August 30. Half-price for over age 60. University College
  • "Online Graduate Creative Nonfiction Workshop" at Lindenwood University begins in September. You need not be enrolled in Lindenwood's Online MFA program. For details or to enroll click here.
  • St. Louis Poetry Center Workshop, "Liberty Hall" Freewriting and Creativity workshop, Saturday October 1, 2011, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at my home in the woods about 35 minutes southwest of St. Louis. Hosting a day-long workshop at my home is a first! Includes lunch for the group.Cost is $50 for members, and $60 for non-members. Space is limited so send in your reservation ASAP to feeworkshop@stlouispoetrycenter.org.

  • Women's Writing Weekend, Sept. 9-11, to be held at Lafayette Square; details TBA. The people running this event are first-time organizers and not quite focused--but I am!
Jan 31

The Little Pit Viper

I was assigned two freshmen composition classes at Syracuse University in 1986, fifty students total, with no training other than “Keep records” and “Smile.” I was 29 and had never taught anything. First semester not so good. Second semester I began to love teaching and the students. Was disgusted by the ineptness and smugness of the supervisors, and they knew it (no use finessing my feelings because people have always seen right through me anyway) so when a huge impromptu party happened one evening in the largest adjunct office, with anti-supervisor graffiti Magic-Markered up the walls to the ceiling – Rankovic was a prime suspect. Yet all witnesses told investigators that the little pit viper had not been present. The traitors were in fact their finest Yes-men and Yes-women. Guess it happens that way a lot. Moral of the story: --Do you have a moral for this story, that'll sum it up?