A conversation with alumna and Selkirk College faculty member, Linda Harwood.
1. WHEN DID YOU ATTEND SELKIRK?
I attended Selkirk from September 1984 to April 1986.
2. WHAT PROGRAM?
I was enrolled in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Diploma (UT) program.
3. WHY DID YOU ATTEND SELKIRK COLLEGE?
Selkirk was local, cheaper and I wanted to conserve scholarship money. It offered the same courses I needed to transfer to UBC to complete a Bachelor of Arts
(Honors in English) and then a Masters of Arts at SFU.
4. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO COME BACK AND TEACH AT SELKIRK?
A perfect fit. As a returning local, I know Kootenay culture firsthand, so I can relate especially well to our local students.
5. WHAT AND WHY ARE YOU TEACHING AT SELKIRK?
Selkirk was my first choice because of the Kootenay lifestyle (family,skiing, golfing, tennis, lakes, mountains, low population density, wonderful climate, etc.).
Since my start in 1993, I have taught English and Technical Writing and Communications courses for the School of University Arts and Sciences and the Forest
Technology, Integrated Environmental Planning Technology, Business Administration, Contemporary Music and Technology and Nursing programs. I have
also taught Advanced Crew Resource Management/Pilot Decision Making and Airmanship for the Aviation-Professional Pilot program. In addition, I
have developed and delivered two technical writing and communications courses for clients of the Trail Employment Insurance office.
For the 2002/2003 academic year, I created and supervised the Culture Club, a group of 23 students and staff who fundraised all year so that the Club could
go on a two-week guided tour of the historical and literary spots of interest in the UK (England, Scotland, and Wales). We left right after final exams in late April and returned in early May.
The trip was a huge success! Currently, I am enjoying teaching children’s literature which includes folklore, traditional and modern fantasy,historical survey and
many sub-genres (poetry, picture books, information, biography, historical fiction and contemporary realism). I am also having fun with the business students, teaching them everything from writing memos and formal reports to presenting information orally. First-year composition is a challenging course for students, but it can provide inspiring results, enabling students to maximize their learning throughout their diploma or degree programs and also throughout their careers and lives. First-year literature covers poetry, drama, the novel and short stories. The many relevant topics of modern living can ignite some passionate debates. With these courses added all together, you can see that I enjoy a very interesting work week!
6. ARE ANY OF YOUR INSTRUCTORS STILL HERE?
Yes, Gord Turner (retirees include Bill Sloan, Marianne Hodges, Leslie Anderton, Wendy Hurst, Larry Brown, Sandra Seggewiss and Pauline Butling).
7. WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP DOYOU HAVE WITH THEM AND WAS THERE ANY TIME PERIOD WHERE YOU
FELT UNCOMFORTABLE, OR WAS IT LIKE COMING HOME RIGHT AWAY?
Gord and I have always gotten along well. Returning to teach at Selkirk at the age of 27 made me feel a bit awed at first, but then I quickly got used to
being behind the scenes of Selkirk,too. Coming home felt wonderful after having lived in the beautiful but hyper-busy city of Vancouver for seven years.
8. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY TO ALL YOUR FELLOW ALUMNI MEMBERS READING THIS PIECE?
I feel like I won the lottery! There is no better place on earth to live and raise my family than right here, and I’m so glad that I get to do what I love—teach and
learn—in my hometown of Castlegar. Selkirk College serves this region so well by being a sturdy stepping stone to university degrees anywhere in the world
which then can lead to meaningful careers right here at home. I believe Selkirk College allows its regional students to become successful regional professionals.
We get to return to nature’s playground!