Young Adult Lit/Crit

February 29, 2008

Coda

Filed under: from your prof — sunyprof @ 8:04 am

Thanks all of you for listening “with” me last night. I felt over-exposed and left with the sense that it was not a good thing that I shared my own experiences with you in that way. The conversation should have focused on the novels. Hard for me not to be reliving that time in my life in SLEDDING HILL. But I tried to reduce a complex event/teaching life into a few minutes’ sharing. Not so successfully. I appreciate your willingness to engage that conversation and I wish we had had more time to process it.

I do want to add a coda and an epilogue–Cortland has played an important continuing role in my career then and now.

In the spring of 1993, Karla Alwes, Mary Kennedy, and Janet Wolf, among many other English faculty, wrote the first letter of support that came into the superintendent and board of education from any other teaching body/educational institution.

None of these women knew “me;” all knew the importance of what I believe they thought I was doing.

A dozen years later I was attending the fall NYSEC conference in Albany. At that time, I was teaching at SUNY Oneonta–the journey from Solvay to Oneonta had taken many twists and turns but there I was in a tenure track position I was quite happy in.

I saw Mary Kennedy’s name on the program and leapt at the chance to attend a session with her. Remember, we had never met despite the department’s support of me years earlier.

After her presentation I introduced myself to her–I think she thought she was seeing a ghost. What Cortland profs thought had “happened” to me, after this case, I still do not know.

5 minutes into our conversation she asked me if I would be interested in coming to work in the English Dept. at Cortland. You see, I like to think that she “knew” me. And that was enough.

And so I did*. KES

*Of course, it was not that easy! Nothing in life ever is.

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