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Profiles
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9
Literature
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The Write Stuff Revitalizing Writing, Literature & Teaching
Guy Peartree has been
telling stories for more
than 20 years.
He has performed historical
characterizations of Frederick Douglass,
fugitive slave William Brown, and George
Washington Carver in museums, schools
and libraries across the country.
When Peartree steps into the role of teacher
at Middlesex, he may leave the costumes
behind, but he always brings a story.
"I believe people can only ever relate to
one another through a story, whether it be
spoken or unspoken through body language
or eye contact," said Peartree. "Teaching is
storytelling: standing in front of others and
communicating. "
Peartree, who joined Middlesex as an
adjunct English faculty member in the fall of
2013, combines his love of folklore, writing
and history with the art of storytelling, and
uses it to motivate his students to write
more creatively.
It can be a challenge, said Peartree,
especially given the fact that he teaches
"English Composition I," which has a heavy
research-writing component. "Writing and
storytelling are two sides of a coin of self-
exploration. I want to help my students find
meaning in their research by connecting
with it on a deeper level."
Peartree uses unique writing assignments to en-
courage his students to find a voice, define who
they are, and connect with one another through
stories. For example, he often asks his students
to write a narrative memoir based on
a childhood memory.
"Remembering is a form of discovery," said
Peartree. "It is always interesting when
students share unique memories that have a
common theme. Their first trip to Disneyland,
for example: each student has a unique
memory, but most have been to Disney."
Peartree says his method of teaching is
mutually beneficial. "Students become
passionately engaged with their ideas and
connect more with one another," he said.
"They are creating a community through their
stories and, ultimately, through their writing.
I am deeply inspired by that to continue
teaching and telling stories."
Tura Linderholm
STUDENT
Spotlight
STUDENT
Spotlight
Hometown:
Haverhill
MCC Moment: I love to write. I have a lot of stories and adventures going on inside my head and want
to be in a position where I can share my thoughts with the world. English Professor Joseph Nardoni has
been unbelievably supportive of my goals. He has helped me develop an Independent Study course, titled
"Creative Writing and Publishing," which focuses on the publishing process from the writer's point of view.
I will produce multiple drafts of a manuscript, send letters to agents, and contact publishers. If all goes
well, I should have a published manuscript by 2015.
Future Plans: I want to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a dual degree in writing and biology.
Ted Lay
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Liberal Arts & Sciences, English/Creative Writing Concentration
Adjunct English Professor and storyteller Guy Peartree even incorporates storytelling into his "English
Composition I" courses.
Faculty Focus //
Guy Peartree