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Ask the Cougar

English Professor / World Traveler

Marguerite Scott, a Senior Instructor new to the department this fall, has a diverse teaching resume. She's taught courses in composition, creative writing, and literature at Trident Technical College and Florida State University, where she earned her MA and Ph.D in English/Creative Writing. Dr. Scott actively teaches in the community as well, leading writing workshops in a variety of community settings.

This fall Dr. Scott will be teaching sections of English 101 and 102 that draw from her research interests in composition and creative writing. As a teacher and scholar, she is also concerned with the divide between the academy and the community. "I continue to ask myself and my students fundamental questions about the place and purposes of writing in our lives," she says.

On a personal note, she was married this summer in Greece, and she enjoys food and wine, poetry, music, languages, travel, and kayaking. Other pursuits she describes as "less awe-inspiring" include step aerobics and making lists.

Professor Chris Warnick interviewed Dr. Scott in August 2007.

Describe your teaching experience before joining the faculty here at the College. Where else have you taught? What are some of the different courses you've put together?

I've been a teacher all my life in some capacity or another. I taught piano lessons throughout high school and college. After college I took a job in northern Italy at the International School of Trieste teaching second-grade language arts as well as music for grades one through five. In terms of my college and university teaching experience, I've taught freshman, sophomore and junior levels of composition, creative writing and poetry workshops, literature surveys, and article and essay seminars at both Florida State University and Trident Technical College where I held a faculty appointment for four years. Additionally, I have taught, and continue to teach writing workshops in the community--specifically in at-risk environments like youth detention centers, women's prisons, shelters, hospitals, and alternative high schools for troubled youth.

You've done work in both creative writing and composition studies. How do these two different fields inform your teaching and research?

I am currently developing a pedagogy that leads students toward analysis and critical thought through a series of creative writing and invention activities. I believe students can best "see" literature by trying their hand at the creative process of composing. My teaching philosophy emphasizes hands-on and in-class writing prompts that allow students to understand a work of literature from the vantage point of its creative inner workings. Students learn to write about reading material, literally from the inside and back out.

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