Degrees and Certifications:
Ms. Palin has been teaching English with Manor ISD since 2015. She has taught AP Language, AP Literature, ELA III, ELA IV, Creative Writing and Introduction to Rhetoric (OnRamps Dual Enrollment). She has also advised a Creative Writing Club and coached the Academic Decathlon Team to medal-winning success. Before teaching, she was a practicing lawyer in Boston, Massachusetts, first as a corporate trial attorney and then as a criminal prosecutor. She is a published writer who has more than a decade of experience teaching standardized test preparation. She is currently an adjunct professor at University of Texas School of Law, where she teachers an upper-level writing course in writing for trial attorneys.
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Letter to Students
It has been said that stories can change the world. In fact, recent studies have suggested that most people make decisions based primarily on emotion, without regard to logic, reason, and facts. We may use logic, reason, and facts to justify our decisions, but when it comes down to it, we “go with our gut.”
How many can relate to having cried during the last moments of Toy Story 3 or during the entirety of Coco? How often do you think of a movie scene, or television episode that made you really think about your own life? What books or stories can you remember reading at a particular time in your life such that it seemed like the author was totally reading your mind because this story is so about you?
We. Love. Stories.
Not only that, we use them. We use them to reflect on our own lives, to teach us possible actions and reactions that might have a place in how we live and interact with others. We extrapolate from a set of fictional circumstances to the real world around us. We take what we get out of stories and we make a new reality with it. It's like magic.
Throughout the year, we’ll take a journey together to prepare you to face that real world on your own after high school. We’ll examine literature of the past and the present and ask how we can see ourselves in the text and bring something of the story back into our real lives. We’ll reinforce and grow your skills as readers and writers and thinkers.
In this class, I hope to help you find the stories that help you live your life with purpose. Those stories might be found in novels, in poems, in plays, or even in informational texts. There are stories everywhere, and if you listen hard enough and allow yourself to make connections to things in the real world around you, stories can at least change your world, and maybe even give you the tools to make change around you.