40 Years Teaching College Composition


I’ve been fully retired for a year and a half now, and I deleted all my teaching files a couple of months ago, so I can’t pass along any specific course materials. For Labour day, though, I’m going to share the distillation of my 40 years of teaching college composition and other language skills to college and university students, and my studies on how people learn to write from two advanced degrees in mid and late career.

1. Many community college students come in already resistant to taking English,… Read more 40 Years Teaching College Composition

Hand and pencil

My Current Writing Tools

Currently I’m writing in Google Docs, mostly in coffee shops because my office feels like work not freedom. I chose Google Docs because I can access my writing on any of my devices, and I’ve lately added a new tool/toy that makes writing in coffee shops or anywhere else easy. I’ve added a Logitech keyboard cover to my iPad Mini, and I always have them in my purse. Whenever / wherever the impulse strikes me, I can write.

Because I’m writing in Google Docs,

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Getting Older

A poem I wrote about the experience of getting older –

Getting Older Poem

Like a spray of hot pebbles – little stings that you feel but shrug off.

Slowly blisters form: fragile skin over tears.


Nodding off during the news,

Getting no questions when I ask for a senior’s discount,

Noticing I think anyone under 50 is young,

Going to retirement parties,

Little stings.

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Kindle App Academic Possibilities

After seeing, with some envy, what a colleague could do on her iPad 2, I decided I wanted to find out more about the academic usefulness of what I could do with the books I read on my Kindle app on my Galaxy Tab. I started adding highlights and notes on a book I was currently reading.

  • I held my finger on the text where I wanted to start and a box appeared with the text coloured blue. (It sometimes took a couple of tries to get the exact text.)
  • I continued dragging my finger,

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