Words. Ah, words. Words have brought me the loves of my life and have led me to my career. Words led me to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and left me floundering for a major until my junior year when I took a course on Shakespeare and found my calling. He, the master of words, taught me about love, passion, birth, abhorrence, plotting, denial, and death. John Steinbeck helped me to see the absence of fulfillment of lives lived in poverty and unrecognized potential. Langston Hughes opened my eyes to a world of literature I had never found in high school texts. I was set to explore more and more deeply.
Twenty years later, words and life led me to explore more thoroughly my love of literature as I commuted for 75 minutes one way to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to receive my treasured graduate degree. Ah, the beauty of literature courses only and more words to open my soul filled these two years.
With great fortune I was given this job I love where I have met new authors and reread old authors and where I get to share this joy with students. Zora Neale Hurston has moved me to feel deeply and empathetically with people I have never known in my personal life. Anjana Appachana mesmerizes me with a foreign culture and its treatment of women. Flannery O’Connor revolts me with the inhumanity of racism and classism. Frank O’Connor makes me laugh out loud as he explains the agony of an older tormenting sister. James Baldwin makes me breathe deeply and reread many lines as he explores the idea of being “my brother’s keeper.” And I love what I am doing.