That was more than two decades ago, but Hollowell still finds that every class reveals some new insight. “Most of the stories and poems my classes read offer a slice of life that can be used philosophically to understand themselves and others in life. Literature helps us explore why we do the things that we do,” she says.
“Once I was talking about an essay related to gays in my class and one student confessed he was gay,” she says. “He came to me after class and thanked me. This was the first class where he had the courage to make this type of comment without fear or ridicule. My class supported him and took a respectful approach.”
Another semester, she remembers having a student whose mother had died. “He wanted to drop everything, leave school and not continue. I took him aside, several times, and encouraged him to continue in honor of the sacrifices his mother had made.” He did, and eventually graduated.
“I love teaching and I love my students,” Hollowell says. “I want them to succeed and achieve their highest potential.”