by Jesse Parham
How many people out there like writing? How many people have written small stories or poems about something that happened in their lives? One teacher prepares students for writing through her composition classes.
Kristina Gladfelter, a Composition II instructor, said she studied English and creative writing, ultimately receiving her master’s in English. As a Warrensburg native, she attended UCM when it was called Central Missouri State University. She said she knew she always wanted to become an English professor – although she did experience some doubt during her sophomore year.
Gladfelter said she didn’t always want to teach composition, but she did like taking control of a situation and helping her students become better writers. She also liked spending more time with her students and actually helping them achieve their goals.
“I want to get more individual time with (students) and just see how (they) grow, instead of being in some kind of auditorium with everybody just sitting around with no social interaction,” she said.
Gladfelter said she enjoys teaching because it came back to the idea of communication – being able to explain a person’s ideas.
“After all, an idea is only as good as the explanation behind it,” she said.
Dakota Grieshaber, freshman music technology major, said taking the writing course can be beneficial to his future career in music.
“I take the class for the credits that I need, but yeah, I do feel like being in composition does really help me with the creative process of writing music,” he said.
He said Gladfelter had a certain passion for her class that he found endearing, and that this passion also gave her some kind of connection to the students.
“She actually wants to help us grow and become better writers,” Grieshaber said. “She’s wonderful. I had her last semester and I didn’t want another teacher because I really liked the way she goes through things and how she really wants to help.”
Katherine Gerard, freshman nursing major, said she felt like the class would be helpful in some way with her major as well.
Gerard said she believed the class would help her if she ever needed to research something while being a nurse, like a disease or neurological defect – medical-related, so to speak.
PHOTO BY ANDREA LOPEZ / FEATURES EDITOR: Kristina Gladfelter instructs freshman Mariah Whitmire during her composition tutorial.