Welcome to Chatter Box! Chatter Box is a Q & A column to get to know the students and faculty within each branch of the Humanities department. If you have any burning questions that you’d like to ask your fellow students or faculty members, please email email@example.com, and you just might get your answer! You can find this column posted on /humanities and www.facebook.com/UWPlatteville.English
This week's interview comes from English lecturer April Feiden from Cuba City, Wisconsin!
Have you published anything? If so, what is it about?
I’ve authored technical reports and instruction manuals for past employers that are still in use today. I’ve edited over 100 professional and postgraduate academic textbooks and journal articles as well as two undergraduate and graduate catalogs.
What did you do post-graduation?
I became a freelance editor and writer, developed conferences and workshops to help other professionals pursue professional development opportunities. I also initiated and managed an internship program for professional writing majors, taught college introductory writing courses, conducted Scholarship of Teaching and Learning research projects in my writing courses, wrote grants, completed two practicums (one in ESL and the other in adult basic education), and pursued a doctorate degree.
Which class is your favorite to teach and why?
College Writing II because it was my first exposure as an undergraduate to research as a worthy pursuit in English studies, and I find no greater joy than teaching students to suspend their judgments until they’ve gathered enough credible evidence to support their claims. I’m a proponent of long-term thinking, and because of my research into the development of the teenage brain, I know that most of my students have not thought long-term. It’s fascinating to watch students make discoveries in their abilities to think long-term.
If you could create any type of humanities-driven class to take what would it be and why?
I would create a class for the study of stereotypes because they are part of human nature thus pervasive in all thinking, but they can be harmful to those who stereotype and to those who are stereotyped. Becoming aware of how we respond to our stereotypical thinking is essential to becoming a better thinker, writer, and person. I’ve used stereotypes as the theme in my Composition I courses for the past six years, so I have developed a thorough understanding of how they work.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Kenneth Burke because he exhausted the subject of human potential and gave me a solid background for understanding the rhetorical nature of civilization. My other favorites are Alfie Kohn, Kurt Vonnegut, Jane Smiley, Pat Conroy, Jim Harrison, Toni Morrison, Deborah Blum, Roald Dahl, Jack London, Jon Krakauer, Annie Dillard, Henry David Thoreau, Stephen King, JRR Tolkien, Douglas Adams, Ray Bradbury, Raymond Carver, Alice Walker, and others.