Lanie Lundgrin teaches courses in rhetoric and composition.
Rhetoric and Composition, Western Humanities and Introduction to Literature
I love to engage my students in thought provoking discussions about current political, cultural, and creative art related topics. Nudging students to think outside of their comfortable, established world views gives me an opportunity to help them grow into wellinformed, well rounded adults who are willing to think for themselves.
Why did you become an English professor?
I have always been a bookworm and allaround nerd when it comes to literature. I was that kid who went to the library every week, checked out as many books as I could carry, read them all, and returned them the next week to get another armload. Nothing (besides raising my daughters) has ever given me as much pleasure as disappearing for hours into a good book. It was inevitable that I would eventually want to share this inner world with those on the outside. Hence, the teaching thing. Seeing a light come on in students is a pleasure that is truly unique and gratifying, and one that I would not have missed for the world.
Teaching composition courses gives me the opportunity to be instrumental in helping students transition to college expectations of learningnot only with respect to writing, but also with respect to learning how to enter into intellectual conversations that concern greater society.
Teaching literature courses allows me to indulge my love for the art of the word, as well as the chance to help students understand how fiction can be as "true" as any historical document. You just have to work a little harder to understand how. To quote Toni Morrison, "...since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how." And maybe along the way, a little bit of ""why"" is gleaned as well.
Outside of being a professor, what do you do for fun and/or relaxation?
Not surprisingly, I like to read for fun. Spend time with my grown children when I can. Redecorate my house whenever possible. Give parties for all my amazing and smart friends. Walk my two tiny Chihuahuas, Stella and Stanley. Ride my bike to the dam on the River Walk.
I also love high altitudes, especially those in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, California. The Wasatch, Sierra, Teton, and Sawtooth Mountains rock. Since I live here though, I'll settle for the
Tennessee hills, er, mountains. (OK, I am a mountain elitist below a certain altitude, they aren't really mountains. But they're lovely, all the same.)
What are your expectations of students?
It's simple. If you work hard to understand the material I present to you, attend class regularly, participate in class discussions, turn your work in on time, and generally seem interested in being in school, you will do just fine in my classes.
What's something about you that might surprise your students?
I sometimes binge on (really good) TV shows. Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Mad Men come to mind. I'm working on Homeland right now. I'm told that I must watch Better Call Saul. I view this indulgence as a guilty pleasure. We all have them, after all, and this one's mine.