Matthew D Duckworth

Photo of Matthew D Duckworth Department English Department 
 Office Batmale Hall 530
 Phone (415) 239-3400
 Mailbox L172
 Spring 2014 
 Office Hours
Spring 2014 Teaching Schedule
ENGL 1A University Read & Composition 3.0
PREREQ.: ENGL 96 or placement in ENGL 1A through CCSF English Placement Testing or the English Placement Test Waiver process In addition to class time, this course requires 16 hours of Distance Learning Lab.
30128 035 Com T R 09:40-10:55AM BNGL A712 Deadlines Final Book 30136 046 Com T R 11:10-12:25PM BATL U513 Deadlines Final Book ENGL 1B Reading, Writing, & Critical 3.0
30166 008 Com M W F 01:10-02:00PM ART U315 Deadlines Final Book WAIT LIST ENGL 93 Intro to Acad Writing & Readng 3.0
PREREQ.: ENGL 92 or ESL 160, or placement in ENGL 93 ADVISE: Concurrent enrollment in ENGL 9 or 19 In addition to class time, this course requires 16 hours of Distance Learning Lab.
32185 011 Com M W F 02:10-03:00PM HC A206 Deadlines Final Book

B.A., English, University of California, Berkeley;
Candidate for Ph.D., English, University of California, Berkeley.

I have been teaching at CCSF since 1996.

Stories instruct us, entertain us, tease us, lead us. Here is one of mine.

Out in the ocean, I'll scuba dive, but I prefer free diving, working with mask, snorkel, and fins to explore the underwater world. I dive as deeply as I can, but I also hug the shore, especially rocky shores. For example, down Monterey way, swimming amidst the offshore rocks, I seek out surge-channels, feeling and resisting the force of the water, wondering how it must be for an otter or fish to live in the midst of this liquid medium. When my resistance fails, when my kicking doesn't matter, and I'm shoved deep into the crevices and crannies of the rocks, I'm not unhappy; rough handling is part of the deal, and the wetsuit's padding helps against the sharp edges of barnacles and mussels, the spines of urchins. Sometimes, my resistance works and I hover, balanced amidst the vortex. Of course, then another wave breaks, and another. Thrown about or poised, I don't ignore my surroundings. I'll mimic the fish or the limpet, as needed, or with the scant grace at my command, embrace in succession the fluidity of the kelp, the stolidity of the mussels with their byssal thread anchors, and the reflexive exuberance of the otters and seals, true marine mammals.

Underwater tidepooling: I move against and through the surge funneled by the wall-like rocks, kicking firmly and angling downward beneath the fullness of the sea's flexing to avoid being shoved and thrown like mere flotsam. I dive below that surface, but the shallowness here keeps me in the surge, which I like, which is why I'm playing in among these rocks rather than out in deeper water. Submerging here intensifies that sense of being held in the water's palm, that sense of being otterlike, for a moment, being merman instead of mere Matt.

I recall channel-surging one rather mild day a few summers back, neither hot nor cold, cloudy but clearing; I prefer the rougher, more vigorous days, frankly, but I do see that one day as an almost perfect emblem. I was swimming along the shore near Coral Cove in Pacific Grove with camera, disposable, and curiosity, indispensable, happy as a clam, but far more mobile. What did Dictionary Johnson say? "Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind."

That quotation captures one thought worth living by, and here's another, by Nancy Packer: "There's life on the page. You read it, and it's not your experience, but it expands your experience."

I haven't written directly about teaching, but you may have learned something about what I bring to the classroom.
--Matt Duckworth

P.S.: You can find the original version of the words above at my blog under the title "Channel-Surging." I invite you to check it out for yourself.

"Matt Duckworth Underwater"-----

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