For the first decade, my pen launched me into a nautical career with over 100 articles published in a variety of international yachting magazines and several co-authored yacht design and boatbuilding books. Subsequently, my pen and I have ventured on a variety of forays both aloft and ashore. These include creating travel journals, navigating human rights causes, supporting parents, writing for education, co-authoring a book to save farmland, helping build websites, and shyly messing about with free verse imagery. My latest book – filled with lots of tips and links for successful parenting – is on its way to the publisher. With the advent of laptops, the muse – umm, the cat – keeps my words purring along ever faster.
Reaching for the “write” words…
Four Decades of Teaching
Tutoring 6-year-old Korean twins Yun-Ji & In-Ho in my home included hands-on cooking, as English baked together with their cake.
Tutoring Tanya, a Russian Ocean Sciencist
As a teacher, I have also enjoyed the variety. After spending 2 years teaching intermediate elementary school classes on the west coast of Canada, I navigated to the USA, where I wrote about yachts – cruising, designing, and building. During that time, I planned a boatbuilding theory class, which I taught to boatbuilding students for a few years. After sailing back to Canada, I learned and taught counseling in a way that helps healthy people release emotions in a supportive, confidential environment. I then blossomed to tutoring high school students before eventually graduating to teaching English to immigrants, refugees, and university students of all ages and abilities. I also offered guidance to student teachers in my university classrooms over the years. At the English tutorial center, which I organized at the University of Victoria, my motto was “Mistakes are gifts for learning.” Many of my foreign English students welcomed this banner, relaxing in laughter while feeling encouraged to keep trying.
I felt honoured by such very positive critiques of my teaching as these:
“Robin is quite simply one of the finest teachers with whom I have ever had the pleasure of working....her excellent inter-personal skills, her ability to work alone with minimal supervision....her outstanding teaching skills...”
Elizabeth Bloomfield, ESL Coordinator, Inter-Cultural Association, Victoria, December 7, 1993.
“Your participation as a Sponsor Teacher for our practicum students is recognized as an invaluable contribution to the growth of the language teaching profession and the professionalism of the Diploma.The many benefits your supervision and support afford our students can not be counted or measured. Your example in the classroom, your supportive advice, instruction and interaction, all contribute to the personal and professional development of every practicum student.” ...
Dr. Maggie Warbey, Senior Instructor, Department of Linguistics, University of Victoria, June, 1995
After retiring from the university in 2001, I've reveled in tutoring foreign students of all ages and abilities at home.
Three Decades of Editing
Oscar absorbs the heat of the moment, while Robin takes distancing time between edits
for contemplation .
Over three decades, I helped other authors with their articles, books, essays, business letters, theses, and websites. I was pleased with the feedback I received – such as these:
“I was overwhelmed with your wonderful professionalism.... You are doing a wonderful job of making the book flow and read well.... You are naturally a great writer, as one can see when you are editing, for it is obvious that you love it with the heart of an artist.... Your editing is excellent; you’re light years ahead of anything I’ve experienced. I’m learning a lot from you.... I’ve never seen anything so precise, so clear, so organized, so logical in my life....it blows me out of the water. Everything I’ve read through is letter-perfect. It’s quite something. I’m just quite stunned.”
Dr. Terrence Webster-Doyle, California, U.S.A. (Taken from Dr. Webster-Doyle’s emails and phone notes regarding my editing of the book, Brave New Child, by Liberian author, Marvin Davis, whom the Webster-Doyles sponsored through their Atrium Society’s Youth Peace Literacy.)
“As I work for a not-for-profit organization, we are required to both look for and write funding proposals. With Robin’s assistance with editing, we have received all the grants applied for.”
(B. Braude, Victoria, B.C.)
Although I’ve stopped editing others’ work to concentrate on my writing, this service has offered me inspiration from different cultural viewpoints around the world. As an ongoing member of the Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island, I enjoy staying in touch with my editor friends and discussing how words interplay. I also appreciate the depth this adds to my writing.