The Professor I Wish I Could Have – Neil Gaiman Joins Bard College

Bard College has a new professor starting in Spring 2014.  This professor has never attended a university, but is teaching an advanced writing workshop that will be exploring the history of the fantastic, approaches to fantasy fiction, and the meaning of fantasy today.  Students will be lining up to take this class…or they will if they’re smart.  He’s Neil Gaiman.  That’s why.

The post that led me to this information poses two important questions. “1) Who’s babysitting your dogs, Neil Gaiman? 2) Can we babysit your dogs?”  These are very important questions, and I would be more interested in the answers if my brain would get off repeat.  Neil Gaiman’s teaching. How awesome will that class be?  Neil Gaiman’s teaching.  How awesome will that class be?  Neil Gaiman’s teaching.   Admittedly, I’m kind of giggly and possibly bouncing in my chair (Well, in my head anyway) at the thought of the students who will get to take this course.  I definitely wish I was going to be one of them.

Here’s the Bard College announcement:

Bard College announces the appointment of Neil Gaiman as Professor in the Arts. Gaiman, who joins the College in the spring semester of 2014 as a member of the Theater and Performance faculty, will teach courses across the Division of the Arts and the Division of Languages and Literature. His first course will be an advanced writing workshop exploring the history of the fantastic, approaches to fantasy fiction, and the meaning of fantasy today, taught through the Written Arts Program and the Experimental Humanities concentration.

My first real exposure to Neil Gaiman was actually through his Twitter (@neilhimself) and his commencement address below.  The video is a little lengthy, but totally worth it.  If you want to read it instead of watching, you can do that here.

For someone who has always tried to play by the rules, this is a really great reminder.  That you don’t have to play by all the rules to be a success.  Taking a few chances, and making a few mistakes (even big ones) is okay…maybe a lot better than okay.  Because no matter what happens, make good art.

Some days you need a bit more inspiration than others to get you going than others, and when I need that little extra push to sit down and actually do the creative work I think about this speech (among a few other things).  When your boss shoots down your latest idea or your characters have morphed into people that don’t quite fit your story plan anymore and you’re stuck; when the blank page/canvas/computer screen just won’t be filled, and the mild panic like feeling sets in telling you that you are not cut out for this I come back here.   Because we all feel like a fraud sometimes.  No matter what….make good art.

‘Til next time,




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