Aimee Taylor earned her Bachelor’s in English at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. She went on to complete her Master’s at Marshall University in West Virginia, and she is currently working on her dissertation for her PhD in Rhetoric and Writing at Bowling Green State University. This semester, she is teaching ENG 103: Rhetoric and Writing.
How would you describe your perspective on teaching?
I’ve always been a teacher. From a very young age, I related teaching to helping and working with people. I also believe that we all have something inside us that we can teach others, and we can always learn from others. So, with that said, teachers are life-long learners, too. Teaching is my way of making sense of the world.
What is your biggest pet peeve in the classroom, or a big mistake that students tend to make?
I don’t have pet peeves per se, but I try to get students to stop saying “this is a stupid question” or “I’m so dumb” or “nothing I say matters.” It is my job to bring the scholar out of them. I greet them every day as fellow scholars, and instead of “freshmen,” I refer to them as “fresh-scholars.” Repeating that language and encouraging them to make mistakes in the safe space of my classroom begins to change that mindset.
What is a text you think everyone should read?
There is not a single text that I think everyone should read. Read everything! A foundational text in my teaching life, however, is bell hooks’ Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom.
What are you currently reading?
Having just completed my dissertation, I haven’t been able to read much for pleasure or teaching lately. However, I picked up Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s newest book called Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution that is wildly fascinating.
Are you working on any projects at the moment?
I am formatting and revising my dissertation manuscript right now, but I am also working on a scholarly project with my students on digital narratives. We are hoping to submit a proposal to a conference soon. I’m always brainstorming, though!
What are some of your hobbies or interests?
I used to be a singer in an Irish band before I started my PhD, and I play the guitar. I’m also an RPG fan, video games that is. I’m patiently waiting for Skyrim for PS4 to be released at the end of this month as a treat for completing my dissertation. I’m also a history and science documentary junky. My new fave is Particle Fever. I also am obsessed with reading and watching shows about deep sea exploration. However, above all, I am a writer, so I spend most of my time doing that.
What is a piece of advice you would offer students?
Getting a college education involves a lot more than showing up to class and submitting your work. What you put into it, how much you engage, how well you get to know your instructors, and your own curiosity are so much more valuable. Set educational goals (like exploring a particular topic) rather than performance goals (like getting an A).
Where did you get your education?
This is a pretty broad question. I’d say that much of my education came from my own endeavors in school and local libraries, my grandma’s kitchen, dusty basements and archives, conversations with my elders, and my wild imagination. More specifically, though, I went to school in a village called New Boston, Ohio. With 23 students in my class, I graduated as the salutatorian in 2003. I immediately began college at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. In 2008, after three major changes, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English. I decided shortly before graduation that I wanted to pursue a Master’s, which I completed in 2010 at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. After obtaining my MA with a focus on Creative Writing, I worked full time as the Developmental English Coordinator at my alma mater, Shawnee State. I served in this position for two years before applying to PhD programs. I was accepted at East Carolina University and Bowling Green State University, but in 2012, I chose BGSU as my home to pursue my doctoral studies in Rhetoric and Writing. I just finished my dissertation research, and I am currently formatting the manuscript to submit to my committee very soon. I am hopeful that I will defend my dissertation early in November and graduate in December. So, fingers crossed.
What are your office hours?
I’m in my office Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1-2pm, and from 11-12 on Fridays.