When Opportunity Knocks . . .

Open the DoorWhen opportunity knocks – open the door!

As a direct result of Speaking in Public, I’ve been offered the opportunity to teach a graduate-level writing course at Marlboro College Graduate School. While open to any graduate student, the course is aimed at educators from across the curriculum who want to improve their own writing as a step toward inspiring and instructing their students to improve theirs.

Expository Writing for the 21st Century will teach the elements of good writing in all fields: science, social studies, history and literature. We will study methods of discourse, rhetorical strategies and argumentative logic while attending to diction, syntax and structure. We will also cover rules of evidence and citation, using the style sheet for each discipline for the writing of research papers. We will explore how to chose and control voice and point-of-view; we will learn how to address different audiences in different formats, from broadsides to journals to editorials and blogs. We will write our hearts out, and we will have fun.

The class will meet in-person four times, when we will model workshop methods that increase confidence, skills and understanding of what makes writing good and what makes a writing class spectacular. All other work will take place on-line, so we’ll also be learning effective uses of technology in education.

You can tell I’m excited. I love teaching, I love writing, and I’ve spent a lifetime caring for the caregiver. In this case, that’s you, the teachers who work so hard educating others; this class is an opportunity for you to be renewed, refreshed, challenged and inspired – as well as a chance to learn about language and craft.

I’ve taught writing for thirty years. I’ve taught writing in the Ivy League and in Vermont’s prisons – and just about every population in between. And I’m a professional writer, practicing and honing my craft daily. I use language to tell stories, convey information and change opinions. Language is how we think; the better we learn to control language, the clearer we can think.

I have to confess there’s a catch: We need ten students to open the door to this class. So here are the details:

  • Four in-person meetings at the Marlboro College Graduate Center in Brattleboro, Vermont to be held on either Saturday or Sunday September 19 or 20; October 10 or 11; November 14 or 15; and December 12 or 13;
  • 3 graduate credits;
  • A chance to read, write and talk about writing;
  • A chance to develop a personal writing practice;
  • A chance to complete a personal writing project of your own design;
  • An opportunity to develop a personal pedagogy that will translate into enthusiasm for writing and writing skills for your students.

What you can do to help open this door:

  • Let me know if you’re interested by saying so in the comments below
  • Or contact me through my website
  • Spread the word about this class! Tell all your friends who want to bring their writing to the next level and/or learn new techniques for teaching great writing.

This isn’t just my great opportunity; it’s also yours.

I’m ready. Are you?

Deborah Lee LuskinDeborah Lee Luskin is an award-winning novelist, a Vermont Public Radio commentator, an editorial columnist & blogger, a pen-for-hire, and an experienced and enthusiastic educator.

17 thoughts on “When Opportunity Knocks . . .

  1. To be clear, you got offered a teaching job because of a previous blog post? That is crazy encouraging! Great job, m’lady.

    • No! To be clear: I was invited to speak about writing for the web at the New England Adobe Users’ Group, where networking afterwards morphed into this opportunity. The blog post – Speaking in Public – explains how public speaking is a way to build and expand audience and find other opportunities, of which the teaching gig is a case in point. But blogging helped me get the speaking gig in the first place, so it’s a bit of a chicken and an egg situation. So, you’re absolutely correct: it’s crazy encouraging to follow your passion and see what unfolds!

    • I think you’d have to make four trips to Vermont, once during September, the most beautiful month of the year; once in October, during foliage, the most spectacular season; once in November, with the short, dark days and bare trees; and once in December, during the frenzy leading up to Christmas . . .Not all bad!

  2. Amazing and congratulations! If I were in the area I definitely would jump on this.
    I formerly turned running a very small and quirky charity into writing a weekly newspaper column so I know, on a much smaller level than you, the excitement of having your work recognized and rewarded!

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