Susan Carpenter

Susan CarpenterWhy do you enjoy teaching at Bluffton? What makes it unique?
Bluffton is a place where I can be myself and people will support that. I feel like I have been given a home here.

What excites you about teaching English?
I get to invent literature courses. That's my favorite thing to do, to pick great books and discuss them. My specialty is to be the fiction writer, and I teach creative writing.

I knew I was destined to teach English when...
There was a moment in college where I was an English major and I decided I wanted to teach so students don't have to go through the confusion I went through. I got my masters  and taught middle school for awhile but I didn't like it. It felt more like classroom management. The principal suggested that I should think about think about college teaching.

Favorite class to teach and why...
Literature courses—they are small classes and we can talk about books we love. Everyone wants to be in the class. In 2008 I taught a post-colonial lit course and it was a small group who really wanted to learn, they really pushed each other.

Favorite place/time/event on campus...
One of my places is the walk around Riley Creek that runs through campus. I love the Peace Garden over in The Lion and the Lamb Peace Center. I have a great view from out of my office window.

When I'm not teaching I enjoy...
I love to do outdoor things, take walks, be in the mountains, those kinds of things. I write and I read. I have a number of good friends I like to visit. It makes the year better if I can spend a week in a tent on a mountain. I enjoy concerts and plays. I like to have a bicycle to ride.

My favorite elementary/middle/high school teacher was who and why...
There was an English teacher in high school who told everyone in the class, "The name of this course is, what is the nature of man, and that will be the final." We read these amazing works and it was great.

My first job was...
I did a lot of babysitting. During my first summer in college I worked as a receptionist working a switch board at two different call centers. They sent me out one time to get a pie for an office party and I carried it in my arms and got pie all over my clothes. Once I was out of college I was in a graduate program which paid me to be in the classroom. I worked with middle school students.

As a college student, I was involved in...
I was trying to make the revolution. That's what my new book, Riders In the Storm, is about, young people trying to bring about the revolution and how that worked out. I was also in the college choir.

Favorite vacation destination/activity...
A mountain where I can see the sunrise from my tent over Pike's Peak in Colorado. The land belonged to my grandparents and it is still in the family. I also love Scotland a lot.

Someday I would like to (what's on my bucket list)...
I want to go around the world and be a world traveler for a few years. I don't like being a tourist so I would visit friends and help them out with little projects. There's a whole series of books that I want to write, there are probably four that I have started already. One would require me to go to Germany and learn the language and study my family heritage.