West Chester University
About Stacy Tartar Esch
I earned summa cum laude honors when I received my masters degree in English from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 1987. ( I had also earned my BA in Literature from the same school in 1984.) My main area of interest in graduate school was 20th Century American, British, and Irish literature. One of my favorite courses was a summer seminar titled "Joyce and Beckett" taught by Dr. Joseph Browne, who introduced us to his own special brew of psychology and literary criticism. For my comprehensive exams, Samuel Beckett became my author of choice, and I studied his works intensely. If I had to do it all over again today, I think I'd still choose a 20th century Irish writer. But it would have to be Flann O'Brien.
College really helped me bloom artistically, as I spent many years writing stories and poems. Many were published in the college literary journal, though it's painful to read them now! In 1985 I earned a Pen Women Writer's award for originality in my prose writing, an honor which made my insecurity subside for a little while and inspired me to keep writing while I was in graduate school learning to appreciate the difference between great literature and everything else.
I hope I've made good use of my education. I'm indebted to all of the great professors who lit the lamp and inspired me. I remember their humor, their wisdom, sometimes their all too human absurdity. More than any certificate, degree, award, or honor, they are the ones who truly bestowed on me what I still value--a love of words, a commitment to excellence in writing.
This is easy. I've traveled a fairly straight road in halfway decent style. I've mostly enjoyed the scenery along the way, but there has been at least one significant pitstop in the midwest, one or two minor breakdowns, but nothing out of the ordinary... Here's the short story.
I'm a college writing instructor. I've been teaching at various community colleges and universities just about nonstop ever since before I graduated with my masters degree in 1987. Working with young adult and adult learners has been a challenge and a joy, but it's not without its difficulties.
Today I'm what is known as an "academic temp." We used to be known as "adjuncts," even "adjunct professors," even "Adjunct Professors," but in this day and age of temporary labor, it may be more appropriate to use the less euphemistic expression.
Like many academic temps, I sometimes become frustrated when I'm passed over for permanent, secure employment that would provide me and family with a better income and the affordable health benefits we need. But I suppose I have to assume some of the blame, having given up a secure full time position at a great community college in St. Louis to move back east after my daughter was born.
15 years have somehow passed. My experience in the classroom teaching composition, rhetoric, literature, creative writing, and business writing has made me a discriminating judge and sometimes a harsh critic. These years have been the whetstone on which I've sharpened my skill with words.
Some people belittle teachers with the slogan, "If you can't do, teach." But it's really the inverse that's true: if you really want to learn to do something well, try teaching it.
Would you like to view my resume? Contact me.
These are harder to peg--I have so many. For now I aspire to working at home on writing in whatever capacity--as creator, editor, master magician, whatever.