Heather Brown

0 Commentsby   |  10.29.10  |  Alumni Spotlight

Extreme Right - Heather Brown

As both an undergraduate and graduate student at ACU in the English department, I spent some of my most formative years walking the (two) halls of Chambers.  My history with ACU goes even farther back as many of my family members attended and I spent large chunks of my childhood summers there attending the leadership camps.  I love ACU because she gave me the tools I need to excel in the odd job I have found myself in.

After graduating with my Ma of English lit in 2009, I worked for a year as an adjunct teaching English in a community college.  During the summer, after a fruitless job search, I was gearing up for another year of starvation, and I got a call from a woman who had been a church mentor to me when I was in high school.  She asked if I was still looking for a job, and I indicated that I absolutely was.  She said, “Well, I’ve got one for you.  Call this number.”  The number turned out to be Bill Harris, the chair of the English Department at The University of Texas at Brownsville.

It turned out that their freshman enrollment had exploded, and they needed a full-time  teacher to commit to taking a job if offered so that they could push through creating the position.  I told Bill that I would take it, and he said he’d call me back.  The next 45 minutes were the longest of my life.  Amazingly enough, he called back and said the position was approved.  I had a week and a half to move my life down to the border before beginning of the semester meetings started.

My students here are poor, many of them with only the most elementary understanding of English.  They are attending a university with open admission because, for many, it is the only one that will take them.  They are incredibly special.  My time at ACU, where I thought that if I heard the word diversity one more time, I would scream, prepared me in a special way to show love to these kids.  If there is anything I learned about God while I was at ACU, it was that, to paraphrase Judith Ortiz Coffer’s lovely poem, if God is not omnipotent, at least He is bilingual.

Add a Comment