"Although I am only a sophomore I feel very confidently that I will never have a professor that connects to such a broad array of student interests while enabling students to convert passion into effective action. While double majoring in environmental science and agricultural economics with a minor in sustainable agriculture I was taking well over my comfort level of course work to face what seemed like the typical English professor syllabus. Immediately I had flashbacks to my monotonous sophomore English class in high school studying rhetorical analysis; however, I did not predict that one semester later I would find myself sitting in on one of Ms. Goldsmith’s creative writing classes for fun. As a sophomore who has been taking college classes since junior year of high school, I cannot recommend anyone more highly than Ms. Goldsmith to incoming students, due to her inimitable teaching style and ability to identify with students of diverse interests.
I would particularly like to share a class exercise in which Ms. Goldsmith asked the class to analyze the use of logos, pathos, and ethos in a letter addressed to President Obama regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline. After Ms.
Goldsmith read the letter we discussed our analysis of the letter in
small groups. Most of the class assumed the author was a writer for a magazine or blog specialist. Once Ms. Goldsmith disclosed that the author was her grandmother I heard students within my group begin discussing the power of writing to influence real social change. At this moment Ms. Goldsmith opened my eyes to framing and its importance in all my activist work relating to environmental injustice. It was through her class that I learned the power that rhetoric has throughout my organizing efforts. More importantly, she showed a class of seemingly powerless students the authority of composition – authority regardless of age, career, or background, and in an engaging way. By critically analyzing other multifaceted issues throughout the class, WRD111 felt like much more than a required English class. It was a class focused on teaching students how to view issues through different lenses."
University of Kentucky Agricultural Economics Major
"I completed Ms. Goldsmith’s Introduction to Literature class in the fall of 2014. At the time, I was a junior taking an introductory English course with a few of my major courses already behind me. I was certain that Ms. Goldsmith’s class would not pose much of a challenge for me with my skill level, however I was excited when I saw the required reading on the syllabus had more contemporary pieces of literature. I expected a class filled with entertaining texts and discussion topics, but what I received was much more. Ms. Goldsmith’s class both challenged and revived my passion for writing and reading. Not only this, but I have never before felt so encouraged to do well by another professor in my entire academic career. I found myself becoming more engaged in the classroom than I thought possible, and learning more than I had in some of my higher-level English courses. It is with pleasure that I tell you I cannot recommend anyone else of a higher caliber than Ms. Goldsmith. Her unparalleled teaching methods and the rapport she makes with her students go beyond anything I have seen from a professor before.
Ms. Goldsmith’s teaching tactics rely on a mixture of both traditional and innovative methods of analysis. By introducing various rhetorical devices into our classroom discussion, Ms. Goldsmith not only added to my understanding of analysis but also provoked successful classroom discussion. These discussions were largely based off of the classroom’s connections to the text through these rhetorical devices, including different perspectives of the characters. One class period Ms. Goldsmith had us look at the different archetypes of the main female character in Stephen King’s novel, Misery. After explaining to the class the definition and the use of the term, Ms. Goldsmith broke us off into small groups and assigned us each our own archetype of the main female character to look at and discuss. Our job was to find examples where we see our assigned archetype in the text, and then to tell the class about our observations. This not only helped us to focus in on our close readings of the text, but through discussion we were able to hear our peer’s interpretations of the text. Some of the ideas that my classmates came up with I had never thought of before, and it opened my eyes to the different perspectives each student has to offer. In an introductory level English course, not everyone is going to be an English major or have the same level of reading and writing skills, but I still felt like everyone in the class had a diverse range of perspectives to offer due to Ms. Goldsmith’s teaching and encouragement. I felt like I could offer my own analysis, and in turn gain something from others as well. Ms. Goldsmith encouraged peer editing and discussions, while also introducing the material in an effective and innovative manner."
Nicole Solakiewicz, MA (UW Milwaukee)
Former University of Kentucky English Major