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Professor touts the joys of reading and writing

Eagle Spotlight

By Talee Mabe
On December 7, 2011

  • Linda Schuppener English Professor

Linda Schuppener, professor of literature at Kirkwood Community College, has a welcoming attitude toward the unexpected.

Schuppener's journey toward her current work took her from the University of Illinois, where she began in a Pre-Med program, to the American College in Paris.

"I spent two years there as an English major, where a professor of mine told me, ‘You're a good writer. You should go to the University of Iowa,'"  Schuppener recalled.

Schuppener, who has called Kirkwood home for more than 15 years, went on to pursue further degrees in English and American Studies.

Schuppener said the interdisciplinary approach of American Studies, which calls upon knowledge of history, culture  and literature, gives a context for literature within society. She said she began to see "how literature taught you about the society that you lived in."

 Schuppener said although many students are seeking a more technical education as opposed to one in the arts or humanities, a background in these areas is a huge asset.

"They help you to understand more about human beings," Schuppener said. "And when you know more about human nature, you understand more about how to persuade and encourage people."

Schuppener said she believes that students often "mistake grammar and punctuation for being good writers."

"There is a difference between being a correct writer and a good writer, in having a sense of language and metaphor and symbol," she said.

Schuppener fondly recalled students who, despite a lack of faith in their composition skills, produced beautiful and soulful pieces. Technical skills can be developed, she said, and she urged  students to shed inhibitions and "let the spirit flow."


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