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For one educator, an assistant professor of English with a specialization in writing, the short but dramatic move "up the block" from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to DePaul University eight miles north occasioned an adjustment to a radically different institutional personality and student body, despite similar street addresses. This paper narrates some aspects of this transition. It states that what is missed most about graduate school is the loss of a graduate student community in which membership alone meant trust on at least some core level because affiliations formed around "class"--mutual status as academic underlings. And it finds that, for a faculty member, the independence can be great, but loneliness is inevitable. The paper explains how the MA in Writing is structured and how this affects the department (and departmental politics), as well as the decorousness of the students at DePaul as opposed to those at UIC. The problems raised in the paper--a literature-entrenched department, an often passive student body--are not unique. According to the paper, the educator learned to construct her teacher identity in what Laura Micciche calls a specific "mesosystem," the general climate of the department and the institution, collegial relations, and relations with the administration. The paper suggests that with every new teaching mesosystem a teacher must reconstruct his/her teacher identity. (NKA)

Descriptors: Beginning Teachers, College Environment, College Faculty, Collegiality, English Departments, Higher Education, Interprofessional Relationship, Loneliness, Politics of Education, Writing Instruction

Autor: Bokser, Julie A.


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