Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Featured Speaker at Hudson County Community College (where it all began...)

Never did I think that I would return to the place where I became a professor in earnest. I started teaching as an adjunct at Hudson County Community College when I was 29 years old, just about to turn 30, and I had just moved in with a bunch of musicians and artists - a collective my dad referred to as "a commune" - in Jersey City. I wasn't at work a month when I was interrupted by my boss in the ESL Department with the news that the top of the World Trade Center was on fire. So many of my students had family who worked there. I grew so incredibly fond of my students there, so much so that I'd have them walk over to my apartment so I could lend them a book, or I'd give them a big hug when seeing them shop in the same vegetable market. It was awesome teaching at HCCC.

But what I must admit is equally delightful about returning to the place where I became Professor Acosta, is that I am Dr. Acosta now. I remember going to an orientation meeting at HCCC and someone looking at me and asking, "And what do YOU do?" We both taught the same classes. I also remember having someone else tell me, "You REALLY have to PROVE yourself," when I applied for a full time job after working there for five years. Well, I think I've proven myself. And it is awesome to know I've done that.

Please join me at the reading on the 15th!  Both Nancy Mendez-Booth and Vincent Toro are EXCELLENT writers and readers, so it should be great fun. (Thanks to Nancy for the hook-up!) Take the PATH to Journal Square and celebrate this reading with me, for it is a celebration, indeed!