1) My primary job is teaching writing to freshmen at both Southeastern Louisiana University and Northshore Technical Community College. I absolutely LOVE this, particularly working with freshmen! My goal is not just to help them become better writers, but to help them find confidence navigating the entire college experience.
2) I wanted a Nikon camera ever since Chris Brown's character called it “the Rolls Royce of cameras” in the movie This Christmas. Actually, I wanted one way before then, but that helped confirm it.
3) Favorite Book: Aside from the Bible, this constantly changes. My favorite genre is memoir. I also find myself falling more for Toni Morrison, Tanehsisi Coates, James McBride, Alice Walker. Mcbride's temperament with the page is magnificent. Anything about slavery, the Holocaust, or apartheid, I will digest. Systems of control still shock me, but even more, I revere the history and triumph of oppressed people, including my own.
3) I never started writing, spitting poetry, or shooting photography for money, but both have led (and continue to lead) to more opportunities beyond my imagination. That's how God's gifts work. Use the gift, and it opens doors. Money follows the gift.
4) Before we married, my husband once biked about eight miles across town to meet me at the park for a date because his car broke down. I never had a man go all out like that for me. I am a blessed woman.
5) As a kid, I've always wanted to be on the New York Times bestseller list. Nowadays, a lot of people create fictitious bestseller lists in attempts to sell books, but I'm stilling aiming for the Times. It's bigger than being recognized, I just want to know I can do this. It's been part of my vision board for a long time.
6) I love piano about as much as I love words and photography. If I skip playing my keyboard one day, I still stare at it or try to mentally dissect music, thinking about what my hands might do on the keys.
7) I hope to work in administration in higher education one day. As I teach and work with colleagues of different ages, backgrounds, and experiences, I constantly notice the generational and racial disparities. When I was a teaching fellow, black students always felt comfortable talking to me in the classroom of a predominantly white university. We should pay attention to this! I also see differences in interests due to age, but I try hard to stay "hip" and relevant in the classroom because it helps students open up more. Learning is a team effort, and educators must be committed to growth just like we expect the same from our students.
8) I don't help lazy people. As someone once said, "there is no substitute to hard work." I don't do shortcuts. I don't do "hacks." My goal is to build on a rock, not the instability of sand. If you don't want to do it right, that's okay. Just don't ask me to help. I don't want to be responsible for someone else's failure. I also don't want that on my reputation.
9) During the summer, I plan to read 2-3 books a week. I believe in setting radical goals, and I absolutely love reading. The breaks between teaching gives me time to really dive into it. In America, we have access to so much information, and I plan to use it.
10) One of my favorite Scriptures comes from Psalm 107, "They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep." A preacher spoke on this years ago, and I never forgot. Too many of us wade in the shallow waters, and we wonder why we do not experience God’s glory. You can’t catch big fish or see certain wonders of the sea from the shore.