Introduction to self & first-person point-of-view, singular they, and

 Part 1:

Your post should be approx. 300 words that uses a “hook” or other narrative device to introduce yourself to the group. 


On March 3, 2007, I was playing the last game of my first and only year as a member of the Huntsville Havoc, a minor professional ice hockey team based in northern Alabama. I had enjoyed a successful college career, and I was proud to earn money as an athlete, living out a smaller version of one of my wildest childhood dreams.

After throwing the largest bodycheck of my hockey-playing life on Knoxville (TN) IceBears’ largest forward, #7 Rob Flynn, the bigger player soon chased me down, grabbed me by the side of my helmet, and gripped my whole head like it was nothing more than a softball. He tugged me toward him the slightest bit before shoving with all his might, sending my head crashing against the Plexiglas that circled the rink. I bounced off and hit the ice, my vision flashing a cloudy scarlet, my mind moving in and out of slow motion. I lay on the ice, disoriented. Flynn reached down and slammed my face against the cold sheet, laughing.

I don’t know if I decided right then—struggling in pain in front seven thousand spectators, trying to hide my glassy eyes from the training staff—or not. But if it wasn’t right then, it was very soon after. I was done playing competitive ice hockey. While my head injury was unfortunate, it provided the perfect catalyst to let go of my hockey dreams and start focusing on something else that was in my brain, while my brain still worked. It was time for me to fully embrace my more academic-focused side and dedicate my life to education, words, and books.

My journey has taken me many places since then, some related to my new goals, some more closely related to my former passion for the ice: I taught English and history at a boarding school, I coached hockey at Williams College, I earned my MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, I went back to school again to solidify my library credentials at UVM, and I now work as a librarian at a large public high school, I teach these English and writing classes for NVU, and I teach a librarianship class for the University of Vermont. Part of my professional mission is to help students gain universal access to information, but the other part—my personal mission—is still words and books. Books can help us move beyond ignorance and apathy to empathy and future building through compassionate action.

Part 2:

Please read the four linked articles and post your thoughts.. Thoughts should synthesize and relate to the articles’ relevance to your Introduction to Self post and/or your previous writing experience. I’m not looking for summaries.

1) UNC Writing Center – “Should I Use ‘I’ ” (Links to an external site.)

2) “Because I Said So: Effective Use of the First-Person Perspective and the Personal Voice in Academic Writing” from Duke University

3) “People Have Invented More Than 200 Gender-Neutral Pronouns. Here’s Why ‘They’ Is Here to Stay”Links to an external site.

4) “The Writing Process Rejected”Links to an external site.

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