Master of Arts and Letters

Q. Please share how you chose this degree program, and what it will mean for you upon completion.
A. I was looking for a master’s program that would not only enable me to work on scholarly writing, but also be flexible enough for me to shape the quality of the material I was writing about to better suit what I was teaching. That’s what I’ve found. This Drew degree will enable me to branch out in the material and courses I teach. Eventually I would like to teach both vocal music—which I do now—and English and writing.

Q. So, you’re a teacher. How are you finding life as a student?
A.
Being a student again is my favorite aspect of the experience. Working through the night on an idea and taking the risk of handing it in, raising my hand in class and offering an observation about a thread in a novel that eluded me until that moment, being pushed (hard!) by a professor to find the very best in me—it’s all been amazing.

Q. Have you turned any of these aspects into techniques in your teaching room?
A. Yes, I’ve used the techniques of my professors both directly and indirectly in class, used projects that I was assigned as springboards for my assignments and I’ve even paraphrased a couple of my professors’ quotes to my students in conversation and in class—always giving credit where credit is due, of course.

Q. Sounds like you truly enjoy your professors.
A. My professors are fantastic. They are knowledgeable, passionate and curious souls. Each of them in a way has helped shaped the scholar I want to be, through passionate encouragement, first-hand experience, encyclopedic knowledge and love of language and literature.

Q. Can you give an example?
A.
My “Journalism: New Modes/New Media” professor lit a fire under me to go out and interview two jazz journalists I admire, Steve Greenlee and Nat Hentoff. In the same class we visited the Associated Press—a remarkable experience.

Q. What’s your advice to someone considering enrolling in the arts and letters program at Drew?
A.
Do it for yourself.
Make it your education.
Love being a student.

Q. Wow! I think you just worked a haiku into a Q&A. That’s impressive.
A.
I guess I’m really mastering that whole “arts and letters” thing!