About
I didn't like my name when I was a kid. It seemed too old-fashioned, especially compared to my friends' more modern names. I seemed to be the only person in my class with a biblical name (except for Mary), although when I studied the history of English in college I learned that the spelling of many words, especially names, changes over time.
Because I was often admonished to "act" like the Ruth of the bible, I remember looking up what my name means in various dictionaries, with most of them agreeing that my name means to either have sympathy for others or to feel sorry about one's own weaknesses.

Was Ruth, mythical great grandmother of Kind David, sympathetic to others? Yes, to a fault. She put everyone else's needs before her own, which--I learned much later--was what the priests who wrote the book wanted Judaic women to believe: a good woman puts everyone else's needs before her own.

Did Ruth feel sorry for herself and find weakness in her abilities? Good question. Look for my blog that examines this idea.

Strangely enough, while the Hebrew form of the name (ràun) is as old as this particular biblical book, the name supposedly was not acceptable for non-Jewish use until after the rise of Prostestantism, according to several dictionaries that list when words first were used. 

While many languages spell my name somewhat differently, I will never forget the little boy one of my sisters babysat who could not say "th" sounds, so called me Ruby. 

I grew up in the buckle of the American Bible belt.

I still live there. When I first wrote Yonni Hale and the Cosmic Wind , I was reticent to use my real name on the novel because I did not want ultra conservatives, who have proven some will kill or maim for their cause, to know I wrote it. So I used a pen name that I created in graduate school creative writing classes--Rajah Hill. Yes, I realize that "rajah" means "king" in Hindi, but it is also my initials with "a"s in between each letter. Since I enjoy playing with words, it's only appropriate that I subvert the patriarchy by calling myself King of the Hill.

ABOUT ME
Teaching Online Since 2000
Not only a published scholar and fiction writer, but also an English professor who mostly teaches writing, I have taught many different kinds of classes, from World Mythology and American Indian Literature to composition and creative writing. I have published articles on teaching, including this one for C2C Lantern, " Online Students Show 'Grit'" about student "grittiness" and its consequences for attrition in online classes.
I have also worked as a Writing Consultant for colleges. Even though the concept of writing across the curriculum is quite old, few colleges successfully implement such a program, mostly because lots of professors feel inadequate when it comes to teaching good writing skills in addition to their subject matter, as well as when it comes to grading for the quality of student writing. Many tend to shrug their shoulders and say, "I'm not an English professor." As a Writing Consultant, I have walked faculty, especially those in technical fields, such as engineering, nursing, and fire science, through confidence building exercises that demonstrate that they, too, can recognize and appropriately grade for good writing skills. I help them analyze their assignments to find ways to incorporate more professional writing expectations into them, and teach them how they can use writing rubrics to score the writing students submit for such assignments. They do not have to be grammarians to recognize bad grammar, and they learn that the burden of learning to correct weak writing is on the student, so recommend relying on Writing Centers and Writing Labs, either at their colleges or online to help students become stronger writers.