What do you wish your students knew about you?
Qi: I feel very happy when they reach out to me with questions or insights.
Connor: While I teach composition, I am a creative writer who focuses on the genres of fiction, fantasy, fabulism, essays, and memoir.
What one word would your students use to describe you?
What’s something your students have taught you this semester?
Qi: Michigan City is not in Michigan.
Connor: Through discussions of multimodal design, students have taught me quite a bit about trends in current social media (like on TikTok).
What one teaching tool will we always find you with?
Qi: Chalk/marker. I use PowerPoint, but I still like to write and draw things on the board.
Connor: Access to YouTube. I try to bring in modern pop culture to practice rhetorical analysis in everyday media.
If you could share one sentence of advice with newer instructors, what would it be?
Qi: No need to be nervous at all!
Connor: Don’t be afraid to explore and experiment with class structures and class activities; the most engaging class meeting is often the most dynamic!
What’s something you are passionate about (outside of ISUCOMM)?
Qi: Modern art, bouldering, and capybara memes
Connor: Radio. I’m a DJ at 88.5 KURE Ames Alternative (show on Mondays from 11 am to 1 pm).
What has been your favorite assignment to teach in ENGL 150 or 250?
Qi: Rhetorical Analysis
Connor: Multimodal design. It allows the most amount of self-expression and creativity for the students.
What is your most frequently used emoji?
Connor: 💙. It’s basically punctuation for me at this point.
If you had your own late-night talk show, who would you invite as your first guest?
Qi: Timothee Chalamet
Connor: Beach House, the Baltimore-based dream pop duo.
If you had to sing karaoke, what song would you pick?
Qi: Eye in the Sky by Alan Parsons Project
Connor: Hard to pick, but anything ‘80s pop or ‘90s R&B.
In the next newsletter, what question do you want us to ask your colleagues, and how would you answer it?
Qi: What’s your favorite food to make (or order if you don’t cook)? Mine’s tomato and egg noodles, a staple of Chinese home cooking.
Connor: Why do writing and English studies matter to you? For me, a professor once told me, “studying English isn’t studying language, it’s studying humanity,” and that has really stuck with me throughout my career. All languages are the study of human expression.