I’m an Adjunct Professor at SCC in the Psychology program and advisor for the Secular Student Association and Games Club. Teaching might be my third career and the least expected. I had spent five years in IT at a hospital and worked towards becoming an animal researcher before discovering that I love teaching. I grew up in Vincennes, IN which used to be the capital of the both the Northwest Territory and the Louisiana Purchase (briefly).
The first thing I was asked to write for this blog was an about me blurb to go on the side of the template, and I wrote the above. Ok, to be fair I looked at what Andrea wrote and changed the details to be about me. But does that really tell you what you want to know about me and why do you even want to know about me? I suppose the answer is "No, and I want to know about you because I'm your co-worker or student and I think it'll be funny, and that blurb wasn't funny." See? I know my audience. Fine, I'll elaborate.
I did in fact grow up in Vincennes, IN. It is a weird town. It used to be very important 200 years ago, but now... not so much. Still there is all kinds of history there, like the oldest house in Indiana, president William Henry Harrison's house (Grouseland), the George Rogers Clark Memorial, and the annual Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous (a Revolutionary War Re-enactment). Vincennes University (actually a mainly 2-year community college but it is so old it gets to call itself a University) is also where I took my first college class. I was a sophomore in high school at the time, but I got bored over the summer and thought to take a class. I took Introduction to Psychology, the class that I mainly teach now.
Side Note: I was sure I was going to be a psychotherapist as a career. I had taken a career assessment test and it gave me four possibilities: Journalist, Clergy, Hotel Management, and Psychology. I thought psychology was the career with the least amount of responsibility. Journalists ideally have to get facts right, clergy have to have faith, hotel managers have to make people happy. All I would have to do is listen to divorced women talk about their self-esteem issues and not sleep with them. Easy. Also of note, I changed my major 7 times as an undergraduate, took a 5 year break from college to fix computers, and ultimately decided to avoid clinical psychology all together as I wasn't really interested in helping individuals (probably for the best).
Anyway, the only thing I really remember about the class was how boring the actual class was. I had read the book in the weeks before class and so lecture was a dull repeat of the things I had already learned about from reading. Turns out most of my college classes worked this way. The best classes were those where the professor used class time to take us beyond the scope of the book, but they were few and far between. So in graduate school when I got to be a Teaching Assistant and had students of my own I just did what all of my teachers had done: make power point slides from the information in the textbook and basically read them to my students.
My students didn't seem to mind, but I didn't like it. So I read some books about teaching. Did you know there are lots of books about teaching and becoming a better teacher? Why didn't someone give me these before I taught students? Ever since I've tried to become a better teacher by trying new things every semester. Some stuff works great (going paperless, blog assignments, or twitter), some stuff hasn't gone as well (Wikipedia). Overall, though I think I've improved some since that first class and many students seem to dig my style.
I suppose that only tells you about my teaching, and not even very much about that. I imagine I can get several more posts out of exploring "About me" topics so I'll try to drag that out. Fortunately I don't have to pick a theme or explain to you about what else I'll be writing here until I do an "about this blog" post.