I began writing personal essays about twenty-five years ago, at about the time I taught my first composition class at the University of Nevada. As the grand finale in my freshman writing courses, I asked my students to produce a personal essay, using Phillip Lopate's Joie de Vivre for examples. I thought that in fairness I should also share with the students my own foibles and personality snags-the accumulation of which have led me into lifelong conflict and head shaking with those in authority over me. I am now left with the residue, like an urn-full of gristly and grizzly ashes with the proverbial no place to go other than to be either flushed or published.
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About the Author
The author is a lecturer in the English Department at Utah State University, where he teaches writing and literature. He has been a soldier, a ski instructor, a building contractor, a truck driver, a high school teacher, and ski coach.