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April 1, 2013 - 10:39pm

Professor Profile: Jennifer Metsker


Jennifer Metsker is a lecturer in the Department of English. She works in the Sweetland Writing Center, the Department of English and the School of Art & Design. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon, attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received her master’s degree at the University. She is from Sacramento, Calif.

How did you get into writing?

While I was at art school just the desire to be a writer kept returning to me, so I left art school and moved here and worked in the Sweetland Writing Center as a peer tutor coordinator. Just being around and in that environment — around the other writers — made me really realize even more I wanted to write, but also that I wanted to teach. I saw my fellow tutors teaching; I saw how engaged they were with their students; I saw the students coming in, being tutored, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.

What do you like about writing?

I like that it can really clarify our thinking. Just that process of discovery that you can go through with language is great. With writing you know for sure what you said because it’s right there — you said it.

What do you like to read?

It really varies. Right now, I’m reading everything from pop, neuroscience to poetry to novels to nonfiction, the news — everything. What I find interesting is that the stuff on my nightstand is so various. I’ll have a physics book — I like reading about physics — and then neuroscience and then poetry, and some obscure novel that no one would ever read, and then, like, some young adult fiction.

Do you have any advice for students?

My advice would be: While you’re at college, take the time to talk to someone about your writing one-on-one. Go to your teacher; go to Sweetland, because it’s so hard after you get out of school to ask someone to read your stuff so having that experience now just seems like a really important one.

What are your future plans?

For now, staying here and always becoming a better teacher — that’s always my goal. I guess in terms of teaching I really want to figure out how to incorporate the different ways and different kinds of learning: visual learners, kinetic learners.