Sunday, August 31, 2008

Wow... you look really young?!!

The above is what one of my students said when they walked into my class on the first day of school. I just laughed... I was already prepared for that comment. I'll be 25 in 19 days and I'm teaching an introductory composition course at the university where I'm finishing my master's degree. Even though I'm almost 25 I'm still mistaken for a college freshman or high school student on a regular basis. At first I thought my age and look was going to be a major hindrance but I've decided to use it to my advantage. On the first day of school when I introduced myself I said the following: "My name is Ms. _______, and I will be 25 next month. That's both good and bad for you. It's good because unlike a lot of your teachers I still remember being a freshman in college and all the fear and anxiety that comes with it; not to mention we will watch movies and listen to music that is relevant to you all. It's bad because I know every single excuse or game you will try to run on me... so don't even bother."

After getting through the very scary first day of class I've realized that this is really what I want to do. It's only been 2 weeks but I love planning what I'm going to discuss in class the next day. I love the fact that as a young Black woman in the classroom I'm showing my young Black female students that the goal is achievable and so real. I love the fact that I have the ability to shape the first year experience for so many of them. For most of my students I was the very first teacher they interacted with on a collegiate level... I teach Mon, Wed, and Fri from 9:00 to 9:50 am.

The first 2 weeks have been really great so far but this coming week is crucial... so far we've been doing a lot of introductory stuff but this week I'll introduce the art of "personal narrative." We'll also start the first of many grammar presentations... I'm going first so they know what to expect and what I'm looking for...

Alright I need to go grade the practice Regent's exams they took this past Friday... keep your eyes open for more frequent updates.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Anybody still reading this???? I know that I was ghost for quite some time but I'M BACK!!! I took a break from academia this summer which means I also took a break from this blog... my bad to those who do read and were waiting for updates.

School starts this Monday (the 18th) and I'm teaching my first college-level course. How do I feel about it? Excited, nervous, geeked, anxious.... you get the point. I finally finished my course syllabus and I even know what we're going to do the first day of class...What I'm not ready for is how to address the why do you look so young question? Or the chance that one of my students will hit on me... my boyfriend and every guy/girl friend that I have has told me that it's going to happen. My boyfriend thinks it's cute to torture me about it but I'm super worried about being taken seriously.

How's everyone out there in academia doing?

Expect lots of blogs/updates as the semester progresses...


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Summer Reading

What are you reading this summer?

Right now I'm finishing the latest Eric Jerome Dickey novel, Pleasure... yea I don't just do academic profound literature lol. I also read Pearl Cleage's latest novel,Seen it All and Done the Rest: A Novel. I love her work and I need to go back and reread some of her novels since they all usually connect.

Next on my list The Other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritance. After that I plan to either start the Chronicles of Narnia series or His Dark Materials series. All of these are very different from my normal summer reading because I tend to gravitate towards African American authors and African American history. I'm trying to branch out more and make myself more marketable. I'm sure I'll read more than these in the next three months but those are the highest on my list.

What are you reading this summer?

I'm such a nerd...

Last night I went to see Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian and in the middle of the movie I started thinking of possible dissertations. Crazy right? As someone who was raised strict Pentecostal it's easy for me to pick up on religious connotations in different things. Well last night I realized that there is so much literature that is supposedly written for children with these overwhelming amounts of religious rhetoric. It also didn't help that earlier in the day I was watching The Golden Compass. So I'm going to spend the summer reading The Chronicles of Narnia series and His Dark Materials series. Part of it will be for pleasure but it will also be for research purposes as well.

I can't even go to the movies without thinking about some aspect of school work lol.

Summer Vacation!

It's been about a month since I first posted. The end of the semester was CRAZY!!! I had so much work to get done and I wasn't feeling the best emotionally. This past semester was one of the hardest I've had in my academic career. I'm glad it's over and I'm ready to start the next chapter. I decided to take a break from school this summer so I'm just working and catching up on reading for pleasure.

Even though I'm taking a break from classes this summer that doesn't mean my academic career is on hold. I'm going to start studying so I can retake the GRE in the fall and also do research on which PhD programs I want to apply too in the fall. Oh and I found out that I will be teaching freshman composition in the fall as my assistantship so I'll also spend the summer coming up with my course syllabus, lesson plans and assignments. I'm definitely nervous about teaching but it's something that I need experience in plus I get to buy a new wardrobe.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Hello everyone... my name is Academic Butterfly (AB for short) and I would like to welcome you to Fluttering Through Academia.

I wasn't sure where to start but one of my friends suggested starting with why I'm an academic butterfly. In short, I'm a HUGE dork... I love reading and writing and learning. I'm also a huge fan of butterflies. The longer answer... I'm currently working on my M.A. in English (don't judge my grammar lol) and I will be applying for Ph.D programs this coming fall. I really do love butterflies because they go through stages and I feel like they best represent me and where I am in my life.

I decided to start this blog to track my journey over the next 5 to 6 years as I work towards becoming Dr. AB. Anyone who is in academia knows that it is not an easy place to navigate and you learn a lot by trial and error. Part of my decision to start this blog is to hopefully help someone else going through the same journey or just starting out. I also want to meet others out there like me... I want to hear about your journey and hopefully we can learn from one another... Academia is a rough place... being a lowly graduate student can be difficult and having a good support system is key.

What you can expect?
~ Rants/Vents about the daily frustrations that come along with being a graduate student
~ Funny stories about this wonderful place we call academia
~ Question and Answers... if you've got questions I'll try to find answers
~ What to do/ What not to do posts
~ Advice for getting started

Disclaimer: While I am a graduate student in an English department I do not use perfect grammar and sentence structure when blogging... I love ellipses (...) so you will see a lot of those.

Next post: Semester in review... my research interests