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Friday, May 11, 2012

A View from a Writer and College English Teacher by D.A. Adams

Please help me welcome author D.A. Adams to FMB! :)

I’ve worked in education for over 14 years, mostly teaching composition and business communications, and I started teaching for several reasons. The main one has to do with my background as a working class kid from a rural area in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.  I was fortunate enough to attend college on a memorial scholarship and felt like I needed to give something back to my community.  I also got into education because during graduate school, I lost my passion for writing and my creative drive.  Teaching became my outlet for my love of language.

For the first few years, I loved being in the classroom.  Interacting with students, sharing my knowledge, watching them grow from unsure and timid to confident and strong writers fulfilled me.  Then, after healing emotionally from my experiences in graduate school, I started itching to write again.  In 2002, the idea for The Brotherhood of Dwarves series was born, and in 2003, I started working on the manuscript for book one. I would write at night after my classes were finished, and all through the process of completing book one, being a teacher and writer together made me feel complete.

Then, the private college where I taught started making changes to our programs.  Without getting too specific, we had a shady president with less than scrupulous management practices, and the college was in a bind financially, so those of us who taught courses that were financially lucrative were worked like rented mules.  The grind of it wore me down, and again without getting too specific, I left that college on fairly hostile terms.  While I’m trying hard to grow as a person and let go of the negative from my past, there’s a part of me that finds it hard to forgive the people at that school who drove the love of teaching from my heart.

For the last three and a half years, I’ve taught at the community college where I got my start as a student.  I wish I could say that things were different in terms of how we’re treated, but if anything, it’s worse.  My colleagues are great, and our administration within the college itself is overall outstanding, but the mandates that come down from the state level are ridiculous.  Each semester, we are burdened with more bureaucratic nonsense, higher student ratios, and more pressure to “retain” as many students as possible.  Each semester, because of the colossal failures of No Child Left Behind and The Race to the Top, the entering freshmen are less and less prepared for college level work.  In short, our education system is broken, possibly beyond repair, and most of the teachers I know, from grade school through college, feel frustrated beyond belief.

My purpose for choosing this topic is to express to as many people as possible that we must fix the system if our country is to have any hope competing in the global economy.  The changes that we need are first and foremost less bureaucracy.  Next, we need state level administrators who have worked at least ten years in the classroom, not professionally trained managers with no real experience with class prep, grading, and student engagement.  Also, we must get rid of standardized testing.  That has done more to rob students of critical thinking skills than anything else.  Finally, we need to pay educators salaries that are equitable to other professions.  At least that’s my perspective from 14 years in the classroom watching the system erode into the farce it is today.

The Fall of Dorkhunby D.A. Adams


"The dwarven saga continues…

The Fall of Dorkuhn, the third installment in The Brotherhood of Dwarves series, continues the adventures of the dwarf Roskin.  Having escaped slavery, and survived the Battle for Hard Hope, Roskin returns home to a kingdom divided by war with the ogres. 
On one side, his father desires to restore peace.  On the other, Master Sondious, hungry for revenge after having been crippled, seeks to escalate the aggression.  Roskin and his friends hasten to the capital, to make a desperate attempt to resolve the growing rift, but unknown to the dwarves, new and powerful menaces threaten to destroy the entire kingdom..."

Purchase:

Seventh Star Press


D. A. Adams was born in Florida but was raised in East Tennessee. He received a Master of Arts in Writing from the University of Memphis in 1999 and has taught college English for over a decade. His first novel, “The Brotherhood of Dwarves,” was released in 2005 and has been described as “a solid, honest work about camaraderie, bravery, and sacrifice” and “a very personal journey, more interested in the ways that a person is changed by life’s events than in epic battles and high magic.” In 2008, the sequel, “Red Sky at Dawn,” was released to the exaltation that “this novel thunders along, at times with dizzying speed. The action is visceral and imaginative without being gratuitous.” Currently, Adams is working on the third installment of the five book series.
In terms of writing style, Adams exhibits an effortless narrative voice and a masterful balance between richly detailed descriptions and tightly worded minimalism. The pacing of his stories is breathtaking, with relentless action and captivating plot twists that keep readers riveted page after page. But his true talent as a writer lies in character development. Readers find themselves empathizing with, fearing for, and cheering on the characters as they overcome their personal shortcomings and grow as fully rendered individuals.
Adams is also the father of two wonderful sons and, despite his professional accomplishments, maintains that they are his greatest achievement in life. He resides in East Tennessee, a reclusive hermit except when on the con circuit.

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1 comment:

  1. Awesome post.
    This past week downloaded from Amazon.com- The Brotherhood of Dwarves.

    Hoping to read and review this Summer.

    ReplyDelete

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