English professor impacts students with American literature, poetry

Ever since Mollie Moore was little, she loved to write, even writing her own newspapers.

Moore has been serving as an assistant professor of English a South Plains College for six years.

“I was an English major in college, and I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with it other than teach,” Moore said.

Moore has a bachelor’s degree in English from Hardin Simmons University and a Master of Arts degree in American Literature from Baylor University. She explored options for going into the publishing business, until she found her calling in graduate school.

“Then when I got the opportunity to teach in grad school, I loved it so much,” Moore recalled. “So, I definitely wanted to teach from then on.”

English has been Moore’s first choice to teach throughout most of her life. Although, when she first went to college, she was interested in science fields, specifically the medical field. That was until she took her first American literature class during her first semester.

“I just loved it so much that I switched my major soon after,” Moore said.

Moore graduated with honors from Hardin Simmons and did an honors thesis in her undergrad degree program where she wrote poetry. Moore has had poems published in student magazines and won the Phoenix Poetry Prize at Baylor. She writes poetry daily, with her most common style being contemporary free verse style.

Moore’s favorite part about teaching is observing the progress in her students, and seeing the impact writing and literature have on them.

“One of my favorite parts about teaching writing is that I get to read my students’ work,” Moore said, “so I feel like I get to know them better through their writing.”

Her least favorite part is putting grades on things, especially when she knows the students worked very hard on an assignment.

Moore is working on a custom American Literature course on post 9/11 American Literature. She hopes to teach it in the near future.

“So, looking at literature how the event of 9/11 affected our society and, of course, then affected our literature,” Moore explained. “I do a little mini unit on that in my fiction class already.”

Moore’s biggest inspiration for writing and teaching is reading, along with admiring nature. She loves reading the work of others, “Whether it’s stories or academic journals talking about teaching.”

The English professor’s extracurricular activities include travelling, hiking, and more teaching. She recently took a trip to Chicago to visit friends, and she is planning on visiting Boston, and Salem, Massachusetts to visit a friend who recently moved there. Moore teaches second and third-graders at her church, and also leads a small group.

Moore spends much of her workday planning her classes and grading.

“I always have essays that I’m grading,” she said.

As a former student, and having worked with students for the past six years, Moore’s best advice for students is to learn time management. She says that she is also learning about time management for herself to grow in that area so she has more free time.

“Success is very dependent on you just managing your time well, and giving time to your classes outside of just coming to class,” she said.

For students who want to become better writers, Moore tries to emphasize the writing process, and she tries to be a guide.

“Students just need to devote more time to the writing process,” Moore said.

She tries to be the “guide on the side” as the basis for her teaching method. She prefers to simply guide students in their learning and writing process, offering advice as they progress.

The English professor wrote her master’s thesis on “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain. As a result, she recommends every student read the book.

“I think his (Twain’s) writing is valuable,” Moore explained. “Even though some people don’t come from college or even high school, they tend to enjoy his work. It also has such a powerful message.”

Moore says that she loves working at SPC. She loves her students, colleagues and her subject.

“Know that most of your professors love what they are doing,” said Moore, “and they want you to come talk to them.”