Bruce's personal timeline, a place to collect and share things from Bruce's life.
Created by bluegrassjb on May 27, 2009
Last updated: 05/01/11 at 03:05 PM
I've done a fair bit of photography and writing off and on. It's usually just like that--off and on. I created Metamorphosis (dbtaylor.tumblr.com) to post my photos, ramblings, and thoughts. It's got me writing more and reconnected me to my photography. At least for now.
I received tenure at UNC Charlotte in the Spring 2010--validation of much hard work.
A group of us formed the Center for Adolescent Literacies at UNC Charlotte. As our website states: "The Center for Adolescent Literacies at UNC Charlotte focuses on developing instruction to make literacy and learning relevant and effective for adolescents and those who work with them. The Center also conducts and supports research and service in support of its primary mission."
The Center has been a focus for my work since its inception.
In 2008, I helped form the Center for Adolescent Literacies at UNC Charlotte. As director of the Center, I help plan projects and conduct research that deal with the literacies of adolescents (grades 3-12) and those who work with them.
I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Iowa (go Hawkeyes) in 2004. My Ph.D. is in Language, Literacy and Culture.
We moved to Charlotte in 2004. I joined the Department of Reading & Elementary Education as an assistant professor. I love it! I teach undergraduate and graduate courses, conduct research, head a center, and work with teachers and students throughout the region and state.
I read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver in 2004 and it changed my life. It made me think deeply about the world and how through history developing countries have been exploited by other countries. Since reading the book I have had a passionate interest getting involved in literacy and education in developing countries.
I graduated with honors with my M.Ed. in Reading and Language Arts from the University of Houston in 1999.
After jobs as a journalist, outplacement trainer, and a couple types of sales, I finally went with my heart and became a lateral entry teacher in Houston ISD. I had a very tough first year but with much support from my wife I made it through and things got much better. I was hooked by my second year. I taught at an urban middle school and then a small town junior high. I really enjoy 7th and 8th graders.
We have three boys. The oldest, Nick, was born in 1988, David in 1990, and Jake in 1997. They are great kids. We repeated the ritual of reading with them that was shared when we were young.
After I graduated from UT and just after we married, I took a job as a journalist at a small daily paper in Conroe, Texas. It was exciting and I loved the work. I changed jobs after we found out we were going to have our first baby. 70 plus hour weeks for too little money.
I graduate from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986 with an BA in English and Journalism. Late in my college experience I began to get the idea that I would like to teach but I didn't get my teaching credentials.
While an undergrad at Texas A&M (I later moved on to the University of Houston and UT Austin), I stumbled upon a book in the old part of the library. And Quiet Flows the Don by Mikhail Sholokov. I read that and the sequel, The Don Flows Home to the Sea. I fell in love with epic novels and began to realize I didn't want to be an engineer but rather an English major. Hmmm....
I met my wife, Jon Maria, in 1983 on a blind date. She was and is a teacher and had a big influence on me. We married in 1986.
The mini series Roots hit TV in 1977. I got hooked the first night of the show and made my dad take me to a bookstore so I could buy the book. I read it morning, noon and night. I read it during school, walking through the halls between classes, late into the night. I finished the book before the series was complete on TV. I was hooked on books and all through junior high and high school was a bookworm. Yes, I was the slightly geeky kid who LOVED to read.
My dad worked for Texaco and in 1975 we were transferred to Houston, Texas. That year I entered junior high school.
I finally returned to reading fiction after my facts only phase. I read the Hardy Boys and lots of other chapter books but the one that really hooked me was The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. It's almost embarrassing but I've probably read the series 20 times (up into early adulthood). There was this kid who was a year older who was reading it and I wanted to be like him. The power of positive peer pressure.
Miss McHugh. What can I say. My fourth grade teacher whom I adored. She made learning so much fun. Years later when I took an essay writing class at the University of Iowa, I wrote an essay about her and how she helped me love to learn.
I grew up reading and being read to. The usual stuff--fiction, fairy tales, picture storybooks. But somewhere in the early 1970s I gave up fiction and would only read nonfiction or informational books. I devoured everything I could about dinosaurs and ancient Egypt, animals, etc. My dad said it was my "just the facts ma'am" stage.
I remember that all through grade school, my dad would take me each week to our public library.
I wrote my very first story before I went entered school. I title it "Jack and the Van de Kamps Pork and Beans." It's a lot like the original. Jack trades the cow for a can of beans. He plants the beans, but....nothing happens. An early attempt at dark humor.
I remember both of my parents reading to me as a kid but the main ritual around reading was that after dinner each night, my dad would read to my sister and me. He'd sit in a big, green leather chair and we'd each sit on the arms of the chair. Dad read fairy tales, adventure stories, and our family favorite, The Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. My favorite is The Elephant's Child.
I was born in 1964 in Los Angeles, California to a family that loves to read and share stories. That's my dad and my sister...and yes, the little is me. Imagine.