Biographical PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dennis   
Friday, 02 April 2010 18:45
I was the first person in my family to attend college, but did so on the merits of my art portfolio, never having given a day of thought to grades or college degrees. I enrolled part time in community college to hone my life drawing skills and perhaps to work on a bit of writing, but comic books were my passion and that is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
Along the way I took to writing, making-over and renaming the literary journal, but fell in love with the humanities and managed a 4.0 GPA in my last two semesters. When my co-editor (who would many years later be my best man) applied as a transfer student to UMass Amherst, he talked me into putting in an application as well. Soon we were philosophy majors, founded an undergraduate philosophy society that burned brightly but soon fizzled, and were pulled our separate academic ways. I was drawn to Classics, soon presiding over the local chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, winning the William M. Bulger Classics Award, and graduating with honors (3.9 GPA).
Two of my characters.
Graduate school followed, and though I had the passion for the study and the command of the languages, I lacked direction and confidence. I was pulled in several different directions, studying metrics, textual criticism, and the history of classical scholarship beyond the curriculum, prided myself on research and giving guidance to colleagues, and started and abandoned countless research projects. My work took me from considering Vergil's Aeneid in terms of Philodemean ethics, to muddling through dense German scholarship on hero cult in the Argolid, and finally to the metrical practice and biographical tradition of the poet Nicander of Colophon.
Before long I knew that I wanted to teach, but had not been given the opportunity. Without certification I began tutoring, received a wonderful opportunity as the designated classics substitute at a private school for girls (entrusted with designing and teaching my own lessons in Latin and occasionally in Greek), and finally pursued New Jersey's Alternate Route to Certification, which allowed me to step into the classroom full time.
Along the way I have published, often with the help of good friends and fellow classicists, one of the web's longest running classics blogs, the CAMPVS (formerly the CAMPVS MAWRTIVS).
Now I am happy to call myself a teacher of classics, while maintaining my favorite studies, am pursuing cartooning again in my spare time (with writing help from my old college friend), and spend as much time as I have learning to be a father.
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 March 2011 02:52
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