Lisa Hughes

At the turn of the century, while most people were worried about Y2K, Lisa Hughes was engaged in her own life-changing bug: What to study in college. When she was a child she wanted to be an astronaut, but then she never made it to space camp. As a middle schooler, she hoped to become a marine biologist, but her scary experience with feeding dolphins in addiction to her aversion to Chemistry convinced her otherwise. As a senior in high school she had decided to become a Missionary, but after one year at Johnson Bible College, and a major change to Youth Ministy, she finally decided that really just wasn't for her. So three years later, still without an education and a major, Lisa decided it was time to "get smart". The problem was: she had no clue what she wanted to be when she grew up.

Enrolling at Indiana University, Lisa couldn't wait to see what the world would offer her. Still indecisive, after a week of classes, she once again randomly changed her major from Comparative Literature (and she still doesn't know what that is, really) to Secondary Education - English. After all, she liked reading and writing, so surely she could manage to find some pleasure from teaching. ;) But the word pedagogy wasn't even in her lexicon then, and she had a lot to learn, starting with technology. Having never been on the internet before, another phrase not in her repertoire was "copy and paste" and after the mandatory computer class, Lisa knew that she had to do something or she would never stay afloat, hence her Computer Endorsement.

After three months teaching and traveling in Australia, Lisa finally landed a job at Carroll High School, and eight years later, she is amazed at how much teaching has changed since she first started at IU's School of Education, much of that being informed by numerous professional development programs, such as the Appleseed Writing Project, as well as her MAT in English at IPFW. She currently teaches English 11 and an honors-level, dual credit composition course (Eng W131).

Being at the AWP has reminded her of her deep passion for composition. As a third-grader, she can recall, she was entranced by her black and green screen DOS computer, where she created stories of heroines, teenagers, and mystical kingdoms. She images this love of writing was a natural result of her mother reading to her every night or purchasing her books for every major as well as minor holiday. Though she has had little time for writing in the last few years, this Summer Institute has given her a boost, and she is ready to pursue the the world of publishing. Though she may have started her writing career as a novelist, she now sees herself as a writer of poetry, blogs, professional articles, self-help book, and yes, short stories and novels. And her love of reading hasn't dwindled. At any point you can explore the crevises of the abyss known as her purse and find at least two books, not including those that are stored on her iPhone. And likely one of those books would be a classic by Fitzgerald or Dickens or some other Dead White Man (or Woman) and the other would be a contemporary "summer read" by Koontz or Rowling or some other best-selling author.

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