Honors College professors show human side with creative works
Thanks to Hayan Charara, visiting assistant professor of the Honors College, students can get a look inside an instructor’s mind with the “First Thursday Readings,” which will feature two faculty or staff members of The Honors College to present passages from their personal writing.
“It was a product of a conversation with a few other faculty members. We were noting how many (of us) are creative writers and published authors,” Charara said. “A lot of our students know us as teachers but not as writers. It’s an opportunity to show another side — a creative side — that defines who we are in many ways.”
The first event in the series took place Jan. 16 and presented professors Ricardo Nuila and Gabriela Maya. The authors collaborated their works to design a theme for the evening, called “Written on the Body.”
Maya’s piece, “The Melville,” illustrates the clueless nature of those who have not witnessed true suffering and the eerie disposition of someone who has. The short story evokes fear, pity and tension as it unfolds.
“The students were engaged,” Charara said. “The works were powerful and breathtaking.”
With a few lines, Nuila aimed to extract deep feelings in his audience as well by appealing to their ethical senses. Drawing on the complexities of human nature and moral values, he presented the audience with the questions of life and death in relation to compassion for another human being.
Charara said that compositions can define an author and the works of professors can potentially add to their character and complexity as individuals.
Nuila’s story takes place in a hospital — a setting fit for the work of an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine and hospitalist at Ben Taub General Hospital.
“I really enjoy the community aspect with the other writers who are teaching here,” Nuila said. “One of the things I have been looking for is people to critique my work and the confidence to ask for that help.”
The next reading, scheduled for March 6, will feature Kimberly Meyer and Robert Cremins with the theme “what to expect when you’re not expecting.”
“It was nice to have students there to get to know another side of me,” Maya said, “and to see me like a human being.”