An essay by Prof. Billy Middleton (Teaching Assistant Professor, Writing and Communication) entitled "On Becoming a Better Fraud" will appear in the Winter 2013 issue of The MacGuffin. The MacGuffin, established in 1984, is a national literary magazine published by Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan. Recent issues have included work from a number of notable authors, including 2011-2012 US Poet Laureate Philip Levine.
Prof. Middleton's essay recounts his experiences as a rookie public school teacher in Tchula, Mississippi, a small town in the Mississippi Delta, one of the poorest regions in the nation. Faced with a school system that was largely ineffectual, offering little real hope of education or escape, many of the students turned to drugs or crime at a young age as a way to get by. Having taught in that system for three years, Prof. Middleton discusses his experiences working with those students and the disconnect between what he'd been taught to expect in his college education courses and what he encountered in the actual classroom, as well as how these early experiences shaped his philosophies about education and the role of the teacher and the student in the classroom.
Prof. Middleton teaches CAL 103, Writing and Communication, as part of the Stevens Freshman Experience. His creative work has previously appeared in Vestal Review, FRiGG, Word Riot, Bicycle Review, and a number of other fine journals. His academic work has appeared or is forthcoming in Theatre Journal, South Atlantic Review, and Southern Quarterly.