It’s all about the word, isn’t it? Developing this site has been a Gemini-like process of looking back over a career of reading, writing, and teaching as I look forward to new colleagues, friends, and projects. But the thread and theme is simple: words. I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of sharing my love of books and literature in my classrooms and workshops as well as in my textbooks. I count myself among the lucky ones whose work rarely feels that way because I spend my time talking and thinking about books and ideas.
This site documents specific ways I’ve engaged in those activities: in a high school classroom, a university setting, professional development workshops for colleagues, and, yes, in test design and development. What might not be as obvious is my commitment over the years to bringing writers together with their readers in conversations. I’ve made those connections on campuses and in classrooms, yet I wonder if some of my best work might be outside of my day job. As part of the literary series of the National Museum of Women of the Arts in D.C. for ten years and a member of the One-Maryland-One-Book selection committee during the start of that state-wide project, I’ve seen the power of the word to build community, often among people of disparate interests and backgrounds.
In her poem “Wild Geese,” Mary Oliver writes, “the world offers itself to your imagination.” I’ve tried to accept that offer with grace and gratitude by reading, writing, and sharing those experiences. I hope to continue in and outside traditional classrooms to expand the clan of the book … and the sentence … and the word.more about Renee