Professor and Poet
The Department of English at Acadia University helped me develop the knowledge and skills I needed to pursue my career as a writer, academic, and teacher. The highlight for me was the combination of foundational work and intimate learning environment. I gained from the substance of the courses, thesis work, and professional development seminar, and from the tight-knit community in which this learning took place. My classmates and I benefited from the opportunity to engage deeply with one another’s work and to receive significant guidance and feedback from professors who were accomplished as researchers and teachers.
Speaking more personally, when I arrived at Acadia I did not know for certain if I wanted to be—or even could be—a writer, academic, or teacher. On top of this, like many at that point in their life and education, I struggled with issues that threatened to cut my studies short. In this sense, Acadia’s close community was just as important to my personal education. The compassion, friendship, patience, and just general amazingness of my classmates and professors gave me the support I needed to keep going and inspired me to remain focussed and driven in my studies.
The lessons I learned at Acadia, then, are both professional and personal, and these lessons now underpin my own teaching. I learned that if I want my students to improve as writers and readers I need to work to expand and share my knowledge in, and passion for, my field. I learned that significant learning happens when lively classroom discussions continue over coffee, on field trips, and at departmental events and parties. I learned that one of the crucial skills the best teachers share is the ability to offer guidance, support, and an attentive ear to both the student enrolled in the class and the individual struggling in the world.