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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Putting the ‘lit’ in literature; English professor sparks interest in reading
English Professor Linda Myers, in her office here on campus. Holding one of her favorite books, Blasphemy by Sherman Alexie. Amari Gibbs-Smith [email protected]

Quesieyah Ervin
Guest Writer
[email protected]

Papers are neatly stacked on her desk. The eyes of the students follow her as she walks to and fro across the classroom. Her eyes hold a certain seriousness. The room is almost silent, full of people who are all after the same thing. The only voice heard comes from the person perched front and center, with eagerness to teach written on her face.

The woman commanding the classroom is Linda Myers, a City College reading and English professor. She has been teaching community college for 18 years. At a time when most teachers begin thinking about retirement, Myers was hired as a full-time professor. She still wants to inspire students to become better versions of themselves. 

Myers says she is a strict teacher, but for good reason. She cares about her students and only wants the best for them. That is why she doesn’t allow students to get away with anything in her class. When class starts, she makes sure everyone’s phone is turned completely off and students are paying attention.

“I try not to let them get away with too much because the rest of the world doesn’t,” says Myers, who chairs the reading department. 

She began to become the professor her students know when she was a child. Myers recalls that her father was instrumental in her education.

“My dad was a reader,” says Myers, who believes that being a good reader leads to being a good writer.  “He taught me to read before I started school.” 

As a child, she listened to her father and uncles tell stories about World War II and the Korean War, which gave her a sense of history. Myers says her father read the funny papers (comics) from the evening newspaper to her. As she learned new words, she would start to read other sections of the newspaper. By the time she was in fifth grade, she says she was reading the newspaper from front to back. 

By 14, she knew she wanted to be an English teacher. At first, Myers says she thought she would like to teach high school English teacher. She quickly changed her mind.
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“I was in classes with college juniors and seniors the first couple of semesters,” she says. “I said, ‘Oh, my god. If they act this immaturely in college, I’ll never be able to teach high school. I better teach college.’”

She wasn’t ready for college either.

“I was not a well-prepared college student,” she says. “After three semesters, they asked me to leave.”

After leaving college, she went into business, and she met her husband. They were in business together for 25 years. Then, she realized she wanted to return to college and get her degree. Her high school dream of teaching English had endured. 

Myers’ colleagues now see a dedicated teacher in the classroom.

“Linda is a conscientious and generous colleague, who’s happy to share ideas and pitch in to do the hard work of managing a college department,” says Nancy Olsen, a City College reading professor.

Other professors see the motivation behind Myers’ teaching.

“She is also what I refer to as an old-school liberal, like the Berkeley students of the 1960s,” says English professor Guy Stimers, who shares an office with Myers. “In other words, she knows what is going on politically, and she wants those things to happen, which she believes will enrich people’s lives.” 

Her love for teaching has never faded over the years. Today, it burns bright in the classroom. ♦ 

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