College taught me. . .

Due to snow, we rearranged the schedule for this week in my creative nonfiction class and spent some time just writing today. I put this idea generator up on the screen in class and we used it as a starting point. It was a rapid-fire kind of thing; I put a new prompt up every... Continue Reading →

First Meeting

The following narrative was written in response to a prompt I gave my creative nonfiction students: Develop a scene that describes an important event in your life. The catch? The event you choose has to be less than 5 minutes long, and the scene should be no longer than 700 words. For the record, I... Continue Reading →

6-word memoir

On the first day of my creative nonfiction class, we composed a 6-word memoir as a way of introducing ourselves to each other. First, we looked at examples of the genre: click here to visit Smith magazine’s 6-word memoir page (which is a separate page from the 6-word stories site (a la Hemingway)). And check... Continue Reading →


I'm teaching a creative nonfiction workshop this semester, which excites me and makes me nervous. This is the first upper-level course I've taught at my current university, and it is populated mostly with graduating seniors, who, though good students, are more focused on getting the heck out of here than on the intricacies of my... Continue Reading →


Maybe it's pretentious to quote, but this statement from Susan Mitchell's "Notes Toward a History of Scaffolding" (as read in D'Agata's The Next American Essay) struck me this morning: "Do I live in order to write? Or do I write in order to live my life as I do?" (249) The question of a grad... Continue Reading →

Day Two

I am in the second day of my written comprehensive exam. The written exam at Miami involves me choosing one question from a list generated by my exam committee and writing a 15-25 page essay in response to that question based on my special topic reading list (which I created). I have a week to... Continue Reading →

No “Death of a Moth”

It's a slow day today at the WAC program where I work. Fall Break is tomorrow, and many students have already left campus, which means there are no business students currently writing memos or reports. I've been doing some of my own reading (for my exams) in the quiet, isolated office. We are tucked away... Continue Reading →

A Memory

  I originally jotted this entry down in November, 2006; ever since then, I see Appalachia in southwestern Ohio whenever I stop living inside my head and start looking at the window. . . I remembered something today. I was driving though the cornfields of Ohio, up and down small hills, looking for the state... Continue Reading →

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