Unofficially, I am a nerd, a gamer, a cook, a cat(s) owner, and (at least Monday through Friday) a teacher. I like Game of Thrones, Cormac McCarthy, and Final Fantasy. I sing in the shower, have two unfinished novels, and spend most Saturdays napping with my cat. Sometimes, I go hiking; sometimes while hiking I try to write poetry.
Officially: I am a lover, student, and teacher of literature. I didn’t comprehend this till high school; while I excelled in math and science, it was the canon that captivated me. I realize that “canon” is a dirty word given the historical and sociological contexts in which it is produced, but to a younger me the works of literature were affirmation that there were other people willing to look under the skirts of science and math, beyond convention. To this day, it is my literature studies that sustain me in a world of constant change.
Years later, I am still a student of literature and a sometime editor. I firmly believe that editing is the sharpest instrument a writer can possess and that the unsung heroes of the world are those individuals tasked with discovering and cultivating talent. T.S. Eliot will be remembered a thousand years for writing The Wasteland, but without Ezra Pound’s guidance, Eliot’s fevered genius might be hardly read or a hard read.
I currently teach others how to write. More than that, I teach others a way to think. My teachers were instrumental in introducing Chabon, McCarthy, Salinger, Wallace, and many more to my world view. With a sincere interest, they fed me well; I now look for that moment in each of my students. I want them to absorb with the same zeal and skepticism the literature and history given to me. With hard work and dedication, I hope to one day stand in a shadow of their own making, and proudly say I helped make that mountain. I want them to believe they matter, in even the smallest of ways.