Growing up in Chicago was wonderful but challenging. I attended DePaul University where a I received a B.A.. and M.A.. in literature. I worked at DePaul University, Northwestern University, and the American Library Association in an administrative capacity. Working in these educational organizations helped me realize I wanted to have a more active role in education. So after several years of working behind a desk, I decided to go back to school to become a teacher. That was one of the best decisions of my life.
I love working with students and love literature. My classes aren't just geared at helping students read better. They are focused on helping students understand what they read at much deeper levels. Showing my students how authors craft a piece of writing is like showing them how to unlock a portal to other worlds.
To the surprise of our students, we teachers do have lives outside the classroom. I've been married 13 years and have have two wonderful children. My life before kids was filled with many travels. I've walked the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle, climbed the hill to the Parthenon, gazed up at the Sistine Chapel, eaten paella in the Medieval section of Barcelona, witnessed Romans celebrate soccer victory outside the Coliseum, toured the ruins of Ephesus, and have even been blessed by Pope John Paul II. When I was younger, I was terrified to travel to foreign count ires. Now I can't wait until my children are older, so I can share these experiences wit them.
My other main hobby is comic book collecting. I an extremely excited to be teaching the new Comics and Literacy class this year. Comics are a great way to get students interested in reading. They were what got be excited to read on a consistent basis. Of course we have our superheroes, but comics offer so much more. Art Spiegelman's account of his father's experiences during the Holocaust, Maus, won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. Spiegelman is just one example of how comic books can be used to tell stories. At last count I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 8,000 comic books.
I look forward to getting know my students and their parents this year.