New TA Q&A

CATEGORIES: Foundation Courses



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?

Qi: Patient
Connor: Animated. 

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?

Qi: 😅
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.