The Teaching Confessions of a Shy Guy: A Personal Journey of Transformation

In 2012 I was a thirty-year-old undergraduate at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA).  I had been a bit late to the whole college thing after having endured a decade-long “career” in retail and foodservice.  To me, college was a potential gateway out of the meaningless rat race of wage labor and living paycheck to paycheck.  I loved college. Not necessarily the “college life” that many younger students were living, but a life of learning, hard work, and, most importantly for me, trying to prove my worth by doing well—so well, in fact, that I had maintained a 3.9 GPA throughout my tenure at UTA. 

The Importance of Researching Uniqueness in Time and Place

El Paso is often depicted as a unique place: a border community between two U.S. states and Mexico with a distinct local culture.  But one of the goals of the project being undertaken by our team, Dr. Melissa Esmacher and Malia Nelson, was to try to research El Paso’s history during World War II and determine whether this portrait of El Paso as unique outlier applied to this time period, or whether the history is more complex. 

The Truth about History

DAY ONE, Fall Semester, 2019

I start my U.S. History class by playing Liam Lynch’s “United States of Whatever” and explain that each class after today will begin with music. I do this because it is the closest I can come to being a rock star and because I believe that meaningful connections can be made between seemingly unrelated things.

Dragons in Literature and War: Interview with Troy Carrol Bucher

As mentioned in our previous weblog entry our project is about the magnificent, magical, mysterious creatures we all know, whether we read about them or dream about —them—dragons.

The Canon Paradox

When asked to devote my time to the McNeely book collection at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Library’s Special Collections Department, I felt an initial sense of joy which quickly turned into anguish. Comprising around 1400 volumes, the McNeely Collection harbors a pretty extensive corpus of Latin American books written mostly in Spanish.