Dale YerpeParagraph City is my metaphor for the college classrooms I know and have known. Each one is as different as the people in the class, but they also have some things in common. I’m interested in teaching adults, what the point to it is, what the potentials are, what motivates people who sometimes succeed stunningly and sometimes work so diligently to undermine their own best efforts. 

This blog is about teaching and learning at the community college. I teach English at Jamestown Community College in New York State, the western part of the state. My name is Dale Yerpe, professor of Paragraph City.


6 Responses to About

  1. CIndy Lane says:

    Just wanted to let you know, I love the way you write….Paragraph City is very cool…what “state” is it in?

  2. Thank you Cindy. I think Paragraph City is actually in the state of Mind, which means it can migrate, for instance to the states of Exhaustion, Depression, Elation or Confusion.

  3. lakesidecomic says:

    Each Semester I have a number of “re-trainers” in my class. The dichotomy of a freshly graduated high school cheerleader sitting next to a newly minted divorced mother of three is always stark. Yet, as the Semester progresses I find that the interaction between these groups of students melds into a common experience that lends itself to some great teaching moments. In some cases, older students unpack their forgotten youth long since folded and sored away in locked closets. Almost always the level of maturity increases as teenagers are forced to justify their actions against classroom peers almost twice their age.

    I wonder sometimes if this situation is more unique to a community college experience than a traditional university?

  4. Hello Lakesidecomic,
    This diversity in age is pretty common in the community college but I think many universities are experiencing more and more of this as people switch careers or go back to put a new polish on their present career. Women are making up more and more of the student body, too, so some of those new non-traditionals are mothers shifting roles as kids get more independent.

  5. Ray Bergeron says:

    Hi Dale,

    I couldn’t find a “mailto:” box, so I’ll ask here. Can I have your permission to reprint your “Professor Goodwrench” post and distribute it to my Freshman Composition class?It’s both entertaining and insightful (and my students know they don’t pay my salary, I’m an intern)

  6. Dale says:

    Have at it, Ray. I was thinking this morning about its flaws, but once the piece is posted, it seems to me like anything goes.

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