"The life of a repo man is always intense." Miller to Bud in Repo Man
Life is Intense Repo Man is an intense, enjoyable, and quirky film that engages and entertains. I've watched it dozens of times, and I never tire of Bud, Miller, or the unique cast of characters and fascinating story line. I have a similar experience with academia: teaching, writing, researching, and publishing are intense, enjoyable, and quirky. I love academia, and I love learning. Whenever I connect with that love, that passion, it moves me past ivory towers into daily realities of living, teaching, and learning in my community and environment. Miller's quote reminds me that intensity is available everywhere for everyone.
My Life, Briefly Early Years: 5-19 Born 1971--I suspect that was intense for my mom, dad, and sister. Between 1975 and 1976, our family lived in Taiwan--my dad, a professor, took us on an academic sabbatical. I then attended Fairplay Elementary School in Corvallis, Oregon. Next, I headed off to Cheldelin Middle School for grades 6 and 7. Eighth grade was spent at Lincoln School in Kathmandu, Nepal; we lived in the Jamsikel part of Patan. Again, the family was on sabbatical. Crescent Valley High School completed my K-12 education.
From 1989 to 1990, I was in Hofheim (the Frankfurt-am-Main area), West Germany, as a foreign exchange student. It was intense.
Adult Education: BA & MA Between 1990 and 1992, I attended the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon in Eugene. I dropped out for a spell between 1992 and 1993. Winter 1994 I returned and completed my BA in English in Fall of 1995. I graduated Cum Laude and joined Phi Beta Kappa.
From 1996 through 2003 I held an array of different jobs in the retail and service industries. Most of them were not intense, but a few--like selling truffles on Valentine's Day, driving a 24 foot electrical supply truck, and getting robbed by a masked gunman in a bank--were intense.
In 2002, I relocated to Arcata, California. Arcata is in Humboldt County. Humboldt is intensity. I started my MA program in 2003 at Humboldt State University. At first it was just in Literature. Then I added the emphasis Teaching of Writing--that is a fancy way of labeling composition. I thought I would received two degrees. I received one with dual emphases in May 2006.
Between 2006 and 2009, I taught first year composition and basic writing in Humboldt County, California--primarily at College of the Redwoods. I taught one semester at Humboldt State University.
Beyond Intense: PhD In January 2009, I began my PhD program online. In August 2009, I moved to Lubbock for eight months to accept a fellowship and study on-site. December 2011, I received my PhD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric from Texas Tech University.
What began with a single course in classical rhetoric from Dr. Fred Kemp in January 2009 developed into a way of being. Isocrates inspires. While I respect philosophy and theories, I am more interested in applying theories, getting things, and materially exploring potentials. Chatting over coffee is awesome; doing projects while drinking coffee is preferable.
The Now As an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at Western Oregon University, I teach mostly graduate courses online in the Master of Science in Education: Information Technology program. This means I work with educators--K-12 teachers, informal educators, trainers, consultants, academic staff, and others--to support and strengthen their use of technology in teaching and learning. When moved by an interesting offer, I do consulting.
In Fall 2013, I began a two year appointment as the program coordinator for the Master of Science in Education program. It is not possible for me to feel more intense or excited about my job.
The Future After two years of administrative work, I have returned to focusing just on teaching and research. I'm looking forward to getting back to these. Beyond that, I don't have any additional plans or goals: just teach better and research more!
Linking Past and Present Coming back to the Willamette Valley--coming home to any place--has been surreal. Many things are familiar, but almost everything has changed. One indicator of how things change and stay the same: after working at Western in the College of Education for a year, a colleague stopped me in the hall. She asked me if I was from Corvallis originally. Yes. She asked if I had attended Fairplay. Yes. It turns out that she spent her first years teaching at Fairplay, the school where my sister and I spent our first years learning.
The Past Twenty+ Years Since 1993, I have been with Dieter, my partner. We love books, admire classical models of scholarship, raise budgies, and enjoy autographed first editions as well as modern art, comics, and science fiction.