“In some ways it’s funny to think about the humanities existing in a STEM-heavy school, but it also kind of makes sense, because of course the avant-garde, experimental program is going to be tied to this weird experimental research … The mentality of research that comes from the STEM fields then bleeds over to this inquiry we practice in our creative ways.” It all relates back to two main concepts for Le Roux — creativity and empathy.
In her opinion, reading and writing exist to integrate the human, emotional aspects of life among varying experiences.
“I think good writing comes from a place of empathy, …
all good art makes you empathize with someone you might not normally.” Her advice for fellow aspiring writers? “By working part time, I was able to keep making work.” She went on to talk about how many of her friends became so wrapped up with their professional jobs after graduating that they neglected their personal writing.
Teaching assistants play an instrumental role in the classroom, especially when you’re in a class offered by the UC San Diego Department of Literature.
They grade your papers, offer writing advice, and facilitate conversations about the works the class is reading.
Memoir is most successful when it is not the "story of a life" but a focused part of that life: a dozen summers spent working on a grandfather's farm; a long relationship with a dying relative; the first year of law school.
In this course, students will complete the first 20-30 pages of a book-length memoir.
“I think what I notice in students that are more from the STEM background is maybe that they really want a concrete answer on how to be a good writer. The whole point is that you’re an individual voice …
and so when people want it to be formulaic it’s really hard to teach that there is no formula.” Rather than keep these varying mentalities separate, though, Le Roux feels that it is important to realize the connection between them.