Teaching @ Lehman
Since Fall 2016 I've been an adjunct lecturer cross-appointed in English and the Freshman Year Initiative program at Lehman College in the Bronx. The Freshman Year Initiative is the centerpiece of Lehman's ambitious retention and graduation goals, and the two-semester composition course I teach is a crucial part of orienting students, many of whom are first-generation college students and a significant percentage of whom are also first-generation Americans, to the college classroom.
Lehman is one of the City University of New York's senior colleges, and (with its defined campus and focus on undergraduate education) perhaps the most like a "traditional" small liberal-arts college. As a native New Yorker and a grateful graduate of the only high school run through the CUNY system, it's particularly fulfilling for me to teach young New Yorkers and to contribute to a public institution that continues, despite the toll that late capitalism has taken on the American academy and public education more broadly, to stand for the right of all New Yorkers and all Americans to meaningful educational experiences and the social mobility to which they can provide access.
Composition I (ENG 111)
English 111 introduces freshman students from a broad range of personal and educational backgrounds to the fundamental skills of college-level expository writing.
Composition II (ENG 121)
English 121 turns to research writing. My syllabus begins with a position paper that refines the skills and forms of argumentative writing that most students have learned in high school and then builds a self-directed research project over the course of the semester.
composition & the crisis
Teaching freshman composition at a public institution that relies on adjunct labor puts me on the front lines of the crisis in the humanities and higher education more generally, which is something I believe is both real and important.