[singlepic id=121 w=320 h=240 float=left]Hi. My name is Robb. I work in a button factory…
No. That’s not right.
Although it may have been at one time. I’d have to check my resume.
Rather than bore you with who I was and where I’ve been, I figure I’ll go into a bit about who I actually am. All that stuff in the past can stay there for now. I’ll end up writing about most of it anyway in due time.
Oh… one thing…
I’m not the guitarist Robb Flynn. That guy can play much, much, MUCH better than I can. And he has much cooler hair too. Well… just the fact that he actually has hair. But at least Robb Flynn is my real name. I have that going for me.
This Robb Flynn, the one who owns the site, is a…
…teacher by trade
I make my groats teaching folks how to write. I’ve served my time in Corporate America, both in large, international companies and small startups, but now I’m an instructor of Composition and Literature at a community college in Texas. While the compensation is roughly 1/3 of what I used to make working in computer hardware and software development, I find it infinitely more satisfying at the end of the day.
Far too often do students, young and old alike, come to my class lacking the basic skills to effectively communicate in writing. As technology marches ever forward, writing as a tool of communication increases in importance. My former occupations only solidify my belief that the basis of communication, especially within the business world, has moved away from the face-to-face with a handshake methodologies. Audience awareness and the ability to communicate with the written word will increasingly cornerstone the business and personal relationships we form.
My goals as a teacher are focused on shoring up that cornerstone, giving each of my students the ability to build not just a foundation for academic success, but also the vision to see the potential of the blank page.
…student at heart
If I had infinite means and time, I would be hard pressed to choose between two “perfect” careers. The first, I think, would entail becoming a professional student. The pursuit of knowledge, especially in an academic setting, is intoxicating. I thrill at setting aside what I think I know and trying to understand something completely different. I went back to graduate school for my English Masters at 41 years old. I’m toying with the idea of chasing down either another Masters or perhaps a PhD. And I wish – oh how I wish! – I knew this about myself 15 years earlier.
But being a student isn’t relegated to the classroom. I wear that moniker wherever I go, soaking up all the knowledge I can. It gets difficult as I get older… more and more I am called upon to cast aside my thirst for knowledge and rely upon what I already know. This is, I think, especially true – and especially dangerous – in education. So I turn to hobbies. Guitar, photography, architecture, motorcycling and travel. And yes, even education. I learn from my students each and every semester. They teach me things about myself, about my methodology and pedagogy. I soak it in every week and make changes based on what I learn.
And that’s the key to learning – change. For if our knowledge doesn’t change our actions, then we haven’t really learned much at all, have we?
…vagabond in spirit
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself, it’s that I am not static. I get antsy and restless if I settle too long in one place. My motorcycle trips have helped to alleviate this to a certain extent, but the longer I stay still the more I sense that tug…
I’ve had the same dream for over a decade now. I wake up one morning, sell all my “stuff” in a garage sale, and take off on the motorcycle, never to return. I’ve run the numbers. I know what it would take to disappear for six months, a year, five years, and a decade. I don’t have it. But in my dream, that doesn’t matter. I do it anyway, accepting the risks and the responsibilities. Oh how I’d love to have the courage of my dream-self!
I’ve come close to doing this more than once. With my relocation to Texas in the summer of 2012, the tugging has abated. I wonder, as I always do, not if it will return but when. And I wonder if I can stave it off yet again, or if I’ll pack it in and head off down the road… I’d like to stave it off. I like Texas, and I like my shiny new full-time teaching job.