About Me

I used to be a writer.  I worked my way through an MFA in fiction in the late 1990s, believing that it would lead me to literary stardom.  Instead, it led me to teaching college English.

During my professorhood, I've done a massive amount of writing--comments on students' essays, that is.  I've also, of course, read an enormous amount--of student essays, student creative work, angry student e-mails; of expository models that evoke such commentary as "There are too many big words"; of literature that any English grad student could recite in totality while beer bonging.

I have been pounding this into my students' heads for over a decade:  reading is fun, mind-expanding, culturally relevant, fun, and fun.  The problem has been, though, that I myself had lost the love of reading for reading's sake, so I was basically lying.  Yes, there is a sense of satisfaction, some sort of "intellectual stimulation" one gets from a close reading of 1984 or a discussion of Marx's discourse on the alienation of labor.  Wait.  What?

Enter Gwen Lightburn, D.O.B. November 2010.  A read-for-fun person.  A person who doesn't have to explain her reading list to anyone. I'm not sure if my husband likes Gwen very much.  My six-year-old son doesn't know she exists.  Neither do my students--though they'd probably like Gwen a lot better than they like Professor Bitchy.