We've been talking to our instructors about what makes them tick - as teachers, as writers and as language lovers! Enjoy learning a little more about longtime Bay Area instructor Emily Phillips.

What do you learn from your students? So many things! How to be brave, how to be silly, how to let go, how to be a better teacher, a better person...and the list goes on.
How has teaching impacted your craft? It has prompted me to follow the advice I give them: don't take my first drafts too seriously, take risks, think of the 5 senses and use strong active verbs. Be brave and have fun!

What is a favorite word of yours? Use it in a sentence!  What a preposterous question! All words are my favorite.
Share with us a quote or a poem that has been meaningful to you.

The Black Snake
by Mary Oliver

When the black snake
flashed onto the morning road,
and the truck could not swerve--
death, that is how it happens.

Now he lies looped and useless
as an old bicycle tire.
I stop the car
and carry him into the bushes.

He is as cool and gleaming
as a braided whip, he is as beautiful and quiet
as a dead brother.
I leave him under the leaves

and drive on, thinking
about death: its suddenness,
its terrible weight,
its certain coming. Yet under

reason burns a brighter fire, which the bones
have always preferred.
It is the story of endless good fortune.
It says to oblivion: not me!

It is the light at the center of every cell.
It is what sent the snake coiling and flowing forward
happily all spring through the green leaves before
he came to the road.