Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A class that changes...

Professor Tixier would prove a force of nature. She was a dynamo. An intellectual to be reckoned with. I was privileged by the English Department to take this dynamic teacher's class because of my high marks (Goodness, too many British dramas)/scores.

The day I walked in, I knew that, to coin and milk a cliche' to the bone, I had found a kindred spirit.
"Joseph Campbell" (c)
Prof. Tixier taught a course - name escapes me now- about the importance of storytelling and its role in modern psychology and society.

I first heard the 'Monomyth' from her. I also learned about Mr. Joseph Campbell, and his famed "Hero with a Thousand Faces".

"Ursula K. le Guin" (c)
She also reintroduced a writer I dearly took for granted, Ursula K. le Guin.
With myth, storytelling, and epic fantasy being taught all in one course, you would think it would be a picnic... It wasn't.

Did most of my classmates, who happened to be freshmen and sophomores to my junior, understand the treasure trove that was this class? NO, they did not.

Yet, I absorbed, and through osmosis, took in what she explained was the importance of storytelling to any culture. In coming to grips with WHY we tell stories, this topic also became the salve to much underpinnings within the Psychology industry, another field for which I am a fan.

I gave her a story I had recently finished, and she commented, not in the passionate way of my earlier English and Creative Writing instructors, but in an academic, didactic manner that forced me to view my tales, not ONLY as a source of entertainment to possible readers, but to how I viewed my world, my personal psychology.

Professor Tixier is dead and gone for over 6 years (at the time of this post), and I doubt she knew the impact she had on me as a person, and more important, as a writer. My junior/community college is now a four-year, and there is a grant named after this wonderful woman, as it should be. But the true testament to her legacy is what we, her students, and others' lives she touched, may do with the knowledge she gave freely and sincerely.

*NOTE: Please view Third Sunday Blog Carnival: Volume 1, No. 3 for more writing/poetry/essayist goodness!
Also, check out & FOLLOW Third Sunday Blog Carnival itself -- a wonderland of various genres & writerly advice! It's a SMORGASBORD of Writing, Writers, and the blogs that go with them!

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