When Grant MacEwan University was Grant MacEwan Community College, its reputation was based on small classes taught by instructors with extensive experience in their fields. When I was approached in 2005 about teaching for MacEwan’s Professional Writing Program, I was winding down after more than a decade working with The Books Collective. The challenge of teaching project management skills to writing students (PROW 140 Project Lead – originally co-taught with Candas Jane Dorsey) was both stimulating and satisfying.
Although I was new to MacEwan, I was not new to teaching. I had previously taught music theory (University of Ottawa 1982), voice (private instruction, starting in the early 1980s), and creative writing (Metro Continuing Education in the 1990s; University of Alberta Faculty of Extension in the 2000s). I had also led workshops, appeared on panels, and lectured, including international conferences such as the Reading for the Love of It conference in Toronto, the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Florida, and the International Conference on Biotechnological and Medical Themes in Science Fiction in Thessaloniki.
As a sessional instructor, I have continued to work in the field as a writer and editor while teaching a variety of courses in the PROW program and as a service to other programs: Project Lead, Distilled Prose, Foundations of Composition and Advanced Business Writing. I am particularly intrigued by the courses that cross disciplines – illuminating the process of writing for business students or translating project management to writing students.