Meet your professor: Allyson Loomis


Cori Picard: What is your favorite class to teach and why?

Allyson Loomis: I really can’t pick. I’ll tell you I love teaching freshman English because the freshmen are so cute. And especially fall freshmen; they’re so sweet and they look so surprised by the things that you’re teaching them. You can just see them learning in a way that is so satisfying.
CP: What made you want to teach?

AL: I didn’t know I wanted to teach until I taught, that’s really true. I went to graduate school for creative writing, and I was paid to teach freshmen English. One of the most terrifying days of my life was the day I walked into this classroom having never taught anybody anything ever. I had never been a tutor, not even a babysitter, so I was terrified. But I went in there and realized within a half hour that I absolutely loved it.

CP: Your husband Jon is also an English teacher here, what’s it like working with him?

AL: We never see each other. We stagger our schedules so that we rarely teach at the same time, and we do that on purpose in case one of our children gets sick, or a babysitter can’t come, so we’re never left without childcare. But we get together at the end of the day and we ask each other ‘how was your day, how were classes?’ We’re both running pretty fast, this business of teaching full time and parenting is serious business.

CP: What’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you during a class?

AL: This was not here, not at Eau Claire, but when I was at UCLA, I had a student who suddenly lit his hair on fire with an aerosol spray can of spray paint. He pulled the spray paint out of his backpack with a lighter and sprayed his head and just lit his hair on fire. Luckily the kid who sat behind him had this leather jacket and just threw the jacket over his head. That was so strange.

CP: What do you think is the one thing students should try to take away from their
college experience?

AL: For me, I think the most important thing that students learn is that there’s more than one way to live a good life. I hope my students spend their whole lives figuring out how to be the best selves they can be, while understanding that other people will choose a completely different path.

I think that’s what college is all about, how to live a good life, which is really different from how to make a living. You all will make a living, but I want you to leave here knowing how to live a good life.