In what I admit and intend to be a wholly off-the-wall and perhaps utterly inappropriate approach to writing my most current cover letter, I make the following effort to keep it real:
In addition to the indigenous speeches and texts of my specialization, I focus on this country’s founding documents as critical tools for unpacking the many complexities at the meeting points between lives and written policies. Close reading is in close concert with purposeful writing. Exploring how to define the key terms of our democratic citizenship adroitly opens the door upon the real-time significance of determining definitions. I am honest and direct about my own tendency to frame these terms and issues in relation to an ecological understory. Aware of the dangers of reductivism, I nevertheless relish the challenge of persuasively connecting virtually anything and everything to our baseline dependence upon the natural world. At the end of the day, I strive for the words that will best convey the necessity of esteem for the land, insects, trees, animals, spirit beings, and fellow humans that both compose and rely upon the life force of this earth. To quote Wendell Berry, earth is “our only home,” and as dependents it is our responsibility to act in gratitude and humility. In my role as a teacher, I intend for my own clear voice and conviction to model how purpose is the beginning and end point for determining correct tone, voice, sourcing, and essentially any other writing-related terminology one might choose to employ in reference to the human urge to speak.