Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Teaching Is Mentoring

Inside Higher Ed
July 20th, 2015

It is safe to say that I would not be here, doing this, if not for the assistance of mentors.
One of the most important of those mentors was my undergraduate creative writing professor at the University of Illinois, Philip Graham. He’s been present in just about every stage of my career since I first entered his introductory fiction writing course.
He introduced me to the amazing pleasures of trying to write creatively. He helped me get into graduate school. He helped me secure my first teaching job. He provided a model for me to emulate in my own teaching and writing. To this day, he is a consistent source of encouragement when I do well, and solace when things go poorly.
But having gone to an R1 like U. of I, I was also lucky to intersect with Professor Graham. The number of other professors both inside and outside of English that seemed interested in me as a human being was zero[1].

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