The University of Montana Western
English Department Chair (July 2012 to April 2016)
At UMW, I teach writing courses at all levels, from basic composition through advanced creative nonfiction. Additionally, I teach courses in the history of technology, technological literacy, editing and publishing, technical writing, and the history of zombie cinema.
The University of Nevada, Reno
Assistant Professor, English Department (2005-2010)
At UNR, I taught 300- and 400-level courses in creative nonfiction, memoir, and freelance writing, along with graduate writing courses at the 500 and 600 levels. I also taught first-year composition.
Assistant Professor, English Department (2001-2005)
While at Gonzaga, I served, depending on the year, as Writing Program Administrator and/or as the director of the tutoring center. I taught first-year composition and introductory literature courses, plus classes in subjects ranging from Vietnam War literature to writing pedagogy to the history of drama.
Prior to taking that first post-graduate school job in 2001, I spent eight years as a teaching assistant, first at Eastern Washington University and, for five years, at The University of Arizona. For the last three of those years, I also served as assistant editor for the journal Rhetoric Review (where, years later, I worked again for a couple years, that time as the journal’s first book review editor). Pushing deeper into my employment history, I worked as a bartender at Canyon Lodge (in Yellowstone) and was terrible at it, just as I was a lousy bartender at a Red Lobster in Kennewick, Washington. I worked as kitchen help in a range of places, from mediocre hotels with catering services to campus dining facilities at Eastern Washington University.
While I occasionally held a position of authority, such as the summer I spent in charge of a salad bar, I mostly washed dishes and mopped floors. That was the work I preferred. When I was washing dishes–usually with a hangover–I could stand in hot, steamy places and just let my mind wander as my hands worked. When I was mopping, I could also zone out, and one of the great truths of the universe is that almost no one talks to a guy holding a mop…mostly out of fear that they might be asked to help. If I look back to the very beginning of my work history, somewhere in the 1980s, I know I mowed lawns and did lawn-care maintenance at an apartment complex in Richland, Washington.
Good times. Good times.