This Tweed Jacket is Itchy

Posts on Teaching

Eight Things I Learned, Relearned, and Unlearned While Spending a Week in Room with 36 Faculty Members

A few months ago I had the pleasure of serving as a small-group facilitator at a week-long Course Design Institute at my university, created and led by two great professors from other universities. Over the course of the five full days, 36 faculty from various disciplines came together with ambitions of developing new or substantially revised […]

Digital Media and Composition Institute Recap

Ahoy! I’ve recently returned from two-weeks in Columbus, Ohio, and it was a better trip than I ever could have imagined. (How often do people say that? Never. No one has ever said that.) I was there to attend the Digital Media and Composition Institute put on by Ohio State University (, run by Cindy […]

On Sweaters and Family and Cold

I submitted my final grades for my GW students yesterday. This followed my favorite part of the class (the class being a University Writing course titled “Telling True Stories: Truth and Memory in Creative Nonfiction”), a week of readings in which my students read and discuss their process and decisions from their personal essay, the […]

Quick Publication Update

Instead of making excuses for the lack of consistency on this blog (The crazy number of classes I teach! The grading! Friday Night Lights on Netflix! Sorry, these are not even good excuses…), I will simply jump right in and say that I have had some good publication news lately that I wanted to share. […]

Summer Reading in Review

Here’s a confession: When I was s a child, summer was always the time I read the most–in a chaise by the nearby community pool or on the dirty, lovely beaches of the nearby Jersey shore. Now, though, as an adult, I find my summers are often packed with less relaxing travel and odd working […]

Can We Make $hit Up?

This came out a few months ago on Slate, but I find myself going back to it again and again, and sending my students to it as well. The class I teach at GW is called “Telling True Stories: Truth and Memory in Creative Nonfiction,” and so we’re relatively familiar with the scandals, but still, […]

“Miss You.” – Love, The Chinese

As some of you know, my job situation right now is a good, but slightly chaotic one. I freelance write and edit, teach at two universities (George Mason University in Virginia and George Washington University in DC) and for a college prep academy, and tutor both privately and for a GMU-based language service. I’ve been […]

I Don’t Write Beat Poetry, But…

Because this blog is evolving to be kind of an all-things-book-related repository (with posts about writing, reading, teaching people to read and write better, etc.), I though I’d share this photo taken of me just kitty corner to the famous City Lights bookstore in San Francisco. Yup, those are floating books that light the street […]