Tag Archives: Tim Shea

Update from Dr. Tim Shea in Kenya

Am I crazy or just adventurous?  Maybe a little bit of both, I suppose. After more than a decade since living abroad, I decided it was time for a new international adventure. In March I requested a two-year leave of absence from teaching English at Millersville University and I moved my family in July to Nairobi, Kenya, and it has been a whirlwind ever since! I am teaching secondary English and social studies at Rosslyn Academy, an international school that was built on a former coffee plantation. From the moment I arrived, I have felt at home here.

poets3I am surrounded by an array of wildlife from various kinds of monkeys to colorful hornbills and hummingbirds, from massive indigenous trees to dazzling flowers of all shapes, and I haven’t yet gone to see “The Big 5” yet (lions, elephants, buffalo, leopard,and rhino)!  I look forward to exploring Kenya with my family, as we discover this amazing country together, starting with a visit to the baby elephant orphanage and visiting The Great Rift Valley teem to life at sunrise. I even get to go on a 3-day school field trip to a volcanic lake!

Then there’s my new professional life. In the past three weeks since I have been back in the secondary classroom, I am both exhausted and inspired. I forgot how much energy 12-year-olds have and how I must teach them differently from the young adults with whom I usually work.

Nevertheless, I have found the work to be rewarding and fun. So far we have learned about anthropology by creating our own cultures and burying the artifacts for future excavation. We have been crafting board and video games around global explorers’ travels, and we have examined the world of mythology through superheroes and dramatic interpretations. I am already more sympathetic to our teacher education students now that I have stepped back in their shoes.

Besides my work at the school, I look forward to working with medical school students on their academic writing in a program with John Hopkins University and a local university. I also will lead local groups of Montessori and Kenyan teachers in professional development using drama-based pedagogy. Shortly, I also hope to assist teachers in Nairobi slums.

Needless to say, there is so much to do here –both personally and professionally–that my time here will fly by! I look forward to learning and growing and bringing a taste of my adventures back to Millersville when I do.

–Dr. Tim Shea

The Bible As Literature (Reading Our World)

During the Spring 2017 semester, Dr. Timothy Shea has been teaching The Bible as Literature, a new installation of the English Department’s Reading Our World course series. This course asks the question, “Why read the Bible in a literary way?” and “How does the literary lens expand one’s understanding of the Bible?” It invites students to analyze and to interpret a collection of Bible stories, poetry, sermons, and apocalyptic texts through both a literary and cultural lens. The class also explores aesthetic themes, cultural traditions, canon formation. Students read, discuss, question, argue, and perform their own interpretations of this great text while grappling with its themes as found in music, film, and art adaptations. Furthermore, Dr. Shea invited a diverse group of biblical scholars, artists, and teachers, who lead the class in discussions of literary aspects of specific biblical passages. Dr. Shea works to both broaden and deepen students’ understanding of the Bible as an essential and expansive piece of literature that is an integral element of Western literature.

—-Hannah Halter, Graduate Assistant