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Faculty of the Fortnight: Jared Stanley

English professor/poet is “a little bit obsessed”

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From his vast interest in the art of poetry to his participation in the world of cycling, Professor Jared Stanley leads a life of non-stop vibrancy. On a daily basis, Stanley continues to inspire his students with his bubbly spirit and animated approach to education.

“When you have a job that you really like, most of the work is as pleasurable as having a hobby,” Stanley said.

After growing up in Northern California, Stanley attended a community college in Northern Virginia before switching to UC Berkeley to finish off his undergraduate degree. Soon after he attended University of Iowa where he carried out his fellowship in order to become an English professor. Stanley claims that becoming a teacher wasn’t his natural calling, but he soon made a career out of it.

“Becoming a teacher happened completely on accident, I actually tried to get out of the profession after graduate school, but it reeled me back in,” Stanley said.

Even if becoming an English professor happened on accident, Stanley’s profession has proven to be the right move over thirteen years later. After moving to Reno with his partner Meredith, Stanley soon became part of the staff at Sierra Nevada College.

“I moved here with my partner Meredith, who received a job offer to be a historian at UNR, and was immediately embraced by the community here at Sierra Nevada College,” Stanley said.

Stanley has a very distinct teaching style in which he encourages his students to perceive by dialogue and conversation.

“In the broadest sense I would refer to it as Socratic. I would say it’s all about argument and fighting within the classroom, trying to provoke my students, and the other part is to be hyper focused on rhetorical structure,” Stanley said.

If you take a class with Stanley, along with his unique teaching approach, you will begin to understand the degree to which he adores the art of poetry.

“I am a little bit obsessed,” Stanley said.

Stanley recently finished his latest poem in December, which illustrated a very vulgar dream that had troubled his conscious. The nightmare was so powerful, that Stanley was inspired to put a pen to paper and jotted down the chilling experience.”

“The latest poem I composed was about a dream where I was pulling my eyes out of my head and putting them into a china coffee cup,” Stanley said.

Most recently Stanley has been writing prose, which are inspired by his days as a musician.

“When I was fourteen or fifteen I was in my first band, and I found that I was always as interested in the lyrics as I was in the actual music. I found out rather quickly that I was interested in the kinds of songs that I didn’t really understand, and that sparked an interest in poetry,” Stanley said.

Stanley has a very classy appearance when walking around campus. From cashmere cardigans to dark wash denim, his chic sense of style is always at its full potential.

“I am very into clothes. Actually, before I got his job I was legitimately considering becoming a cordwainer. There were a bunch of programs up in Washington were I could learn to make shoes out of scraps of leather, and I thought maybe it would be fun to make shoes,” Stanley said.

Along with a passion for fashion, Stanley is also an avid Cyclo-cross enthusiast. The sport of cycling is what Stanley considers to be his ultimate hobby outside of teaching and raising his daughter. He rides his bike whenever he gets a chance.

“I once rode from my house in Reno up to the school here, over to Spooner, down to Carson City and then all the way back home. It was about 110 miles in it entirety. I really love cycling,” Stanley said.

In his spare time he does quite a bit of volunteering at the local bike co-op in Reno. He enjoys escaping from his daily life as a teacher and becoming a total gear head with a group of devoted bikers from around the local community.

“For me, it very important to have a group of people to hang out with outside of the world of literature and teaching. The funny thing is that they are all high school English teachers, so we end up talking about Shakespeare. It’s like a curse, you just can’t escape.”

Equipment is always on his brain when he goes into cycling mode.

“My group geeks out to all the specs behind the bikes like, ‘oh I just tried out these new handlebars with 6 mm of flare!’ It’s just like talking about poetry, like, why are you ending on a spondee here?” Stanley said.

Stanley tries to portray one simple concept to his students throughout the time he is allotted each semester. He lives by this principle both in and out of the classroom and encourages his students to live by this same model.

“It is a very simple concept: how you say it matters.” Stanley said.

Jared Stanley

Photo by Colleen Healy | Jared Stanley became a teacher “completely on accident”

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Faculty of the Fortnight: Jared Stanley