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I'd like to welcome all of you to our course blog. This is a forum for both the Wednesday and Friday sections, so feel free to engage each other even if you aren't in the same class.

Let's start things off by posting short introductions.

My name is Holly Vanderhaar, and I'm a graduate TA (teaching assistant). For those of you unfamiliar with the TA concept, I'm a graduate student in the Department of English, and I've been hired by the department to teach your course.

I have a BA in Film Studies, and just completed a Master of Liberal Studies degree--an interdisciplinary degree in which I studied bioethics, literature, and nonfiction writing. I'm currently an MFA candidate in Creative Writing here at the U, and my primary genre is creative or literary nonfiction.

I was born in Minnesota and grew up in Arizona. (I seem to have a thing for extreme temperatures!) I have also lived in New York. I have twin daughters, two cats, and a very large dog.

I don't have a favorite book, but I enjoy reading Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and nearly every memoir I've ever picked up. Some books that have impressed me recently are The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Bauby, An American Childhood by Annie Dillard, and The Leopard, which I read for the first time in preparation for this class.

I look forward to hearing from you now! Tell us something about yourself.

Edited to add: If you are responding to a post or a discussion question, please do so by clicking on the "comment" link at the bottom of the entry, rather than creating a new thread (though if you have a new topic you want to introduce, please feel free to introduce it in a new entry). It makes it easier to keep things organized.