Melanie Kirkwood has some “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” advice:
Watch the first episode. The musical and dark comedy aspects of the CW show may hook you the same way they hooked her, resulting in the addition of Season One to her Netflix downtime list.
“The draw of the show is that it’s part musical, so every now and then the characters break into song and dance and it’s quite entertaining,” she said.
However, there’s no telling when she might finish watching Season One now, given that downtime is now at a premium for Melanie, a first-year PhD student in Curriculum and Instruction.
When she’s not in class or working in the FLTE office, there’s a good chance Melanie – who completed her Masters of Education at the University of Illinois earlier this year – can be found somewhere quiet, completing readings relative to her research emphasis on Language and Literacy studies.
Melanie said she wants to see the reestablishment of reading as enjoyable and transformative, especially with children, hoping to foster a lifelong practice.
“Literature has so much power to inform and influence our understanding of people and the world in which we inhabit. As technology continues to evolve however, reading seems to be losing its appeal outside of classroom spaces,” she said.
Long-term, Melanie said she wants to secure a tenure-track faculty position with a public research institution. In the meantime, however, Melanie is excited to have the opportunity to share her own philosophies with teachers-in-training as both she and they develop personally and professionally.
“I’m eager to see myself grow and mature from teacher, to teacher educator,” she said.
“I remember the stress and anxiety that came along with the process of becoming a teacher, and so in channeling my own experiences, I hope to assuage those feelings and build confidence in our FLTE Teacher Candidates.”
Despite the adjustments that come with being a first-year PhD student, and maintaining a teaching assistantship, Melanie indicated that her roommate – Jack – provides the right amount of support when she needs it; at least, when he’s not begging for treats.
“Jack is a sassy, energetic and rambunctious one-year old orange tabby cat,” she said. “His favorite past times include sprints through the apartment, begging for treats, and snuggling with our fleece throw blankets.”
While it is currently unknown if Jack enjoys the music of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” it is suspected that he prefers the sounds of Disney’s “Aristocats” instead.