I don't talk much about my MFA (Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing) experience or my teaching. Teaching is my work. I take it seriously. I entered an MFA program with hopes of having some time off working (I was a grant writer) to concentrate on being creative and writing. During my time, I met some wonderful teachers who became friends and collaborators. I learned a lot about myself, and about writing. For me, it was essential in setting up who I was as a writer and creative. It was a community--and we all need a community to love us and to check us. We are not alone in this world. During my time in the MFA, I never for a moment thought I would graduate and become a teacher. I thought I would go back to grant writing or non-profit work. My path was different though and I did go into academia. I have written a lot, read a lot, and grown a lot. I love teaching. It is a gift for me. I take it seriously and value my students. I now have a lot of things to love in my life--that does not mean I am not faced with challenges. I am reading hooks this afternoon; in that work, I am reminded of all this and that we all (especially our students) have knowledge we bring to not just the classroom, but to life. Significant and important personal knowledge. Let's build on and with that knowledge. What we can do. I am still building. I hope you are, too.