Hwaet! Welcome to My Blog

Hello, and welcome to my blog about All Things Academia.

I’d start at the beginning, but we’d be here for a long, long time since I knew in 3rd grade that I would be a teacher. Actually, I started tutoring my peers at my teacher’s request that same year. By eighth grade I was a regular tutor for neighborhood kids. In high school I was a teacher’s aide for my wonderful Art teacher. As an undergraduate, I was selected to be a TA for the highest levels of introductory French. I was hired as a teacher right out of college, and since then I have taught  at the middle school, high school, college, and university levels.

I’ve taught French, Spanish, Latin, History, Art History, English, and Literature, on 4 x 4 block schedules, alternate full-year block schedules, and 6-period daily schedules, in rural schools, inner-city schools, and a year-round private boarding school, and am now teaching English and Literature at a regional university.

That’s a lot of teaching. One of my goals for this blog is to share what I’ve learned in doing all of that teaching — from planning classes and writing syllabi and curriculum, to lessons that worked and lessons that didn’t, classroom management, memorable moments, infamous moments, and everything in-between. I’ll reflect on my personal trajectory as a teacher-in-training, and hopefully in doing so I will help other people just starting out on their own journeys. (Hint: I’m not one of the people who quit teaching after five years, and I think I have the best and most important job in the world. You’ll certainly see some snark and some annoyance and frustration — but you’ll find no burnout here. I’m more excited and passionate about what I do than ever. But it took a lot of mistakes, second-guessing, stress, and good, old-fashioned hard work and stubbornness to get here.)

However, I am also a graduate student again. I’m a first-generation graduate student, and it took me three rounds of admissions and a lot of very costly mistakes to gain acceptance into a doctoral program. There are a lot of reasons for that, and I’ll share my story here for other people who are trying to navigate graduate school admissions. I’ll also be blogging about my experiences and reflections as a graduate student. Hopefully, this will also be helpful for those starting out and even those who are in the middle of graduate school, themselves.

Finally, I’ll be blogging about my research and writing — reading lists, researching forays, questions, problems, frustrations, successes, you name it. (And if a little chatter about my creative writing gets in here, I’m sure you won’t hold it against me, right?)


About Melissa Ridley Elmes

Professor and writer; Unrepentant nerd; chaotic good. Author of Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems. PhD, MFA. She/hers. Views my own.
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2 Responses to Hwaet! Welcome to My Blog

  1. mom says:

    just a small correction. When you were in first grade, your kindergarten teacher was switched to 3rd grade and she is the one who had you come tutor her 3rd graders.

    • Cerridwen says:

      I stand corrected, folks… apparently, I started tutoring in first grade. Actually, I think I kind of remember that now. They *were* bigger than me….!

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