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Renee Early

Job Title:

English Teacher




Phone: (510) 577-9100



Started at O'Dowd:



B.A. English: Gordon College (I spent my junior year at Homerton College, Cambridge University studying English Literature, Drama, and Landscape History in the context of a B.Ed. degree)

M.A. Theology: Fuller Theological Seminary (with 32 graduate units in English Literature from Baylor University) My M.A. Thesis was a study of Exile in the poetry of Czeslaw Milosz

Originally from:


Why I Teach:

Academics is a particular type of play, a very serious, very meaningful play, the most important play imaginable. One might say holy play. I teach because I wanted to play for the rest of my life and to encourage others to play for the rest of theirs.

Most powerful teaching technique:

The ability to recognize and encourage excellence in my students.

Why are the subjects you teach important?:

They provide the very core of our self-understanding and our common life.

Favorite quotes:

"All Life is chains. We are chained to food and fire in winter. To innocence lost by its memory unlost. And to needing each other (Peter Shaffer, "The Royal Hunt of the Sun") "We were intellectuals with three genuine and I think profound passions: a passion for friendship, a passion for literature and music, and a passion for what we called Truth" (Leonard Woolf) "We talk of letters till we fall asleep, our dreams are dreams of letters, and literature awakes us to begin the new day" (Erasmus) "Poor loves. Born to empire. Born to rule the waves. All gone. All taken away." - Connie Sachs (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy) "For we have seen on our way and fallen in love with a world that will pass in a twinkling" (C. Milosz)

Favorite trivia:

Recommended visual media:

Wim Wenders' "Wings of Desire" Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" Preston Sturges' "Sullivan's Travels" Terry Gilliam (almost anything, but "Brazil" comes to mind)

Recommended reads:

Moby Dick, Middlemarch, David Copperfield, Heart of Darkness, anything by Cormac McCarthy, The Lord of the Rings, Eighteenth Century English Novels, biographies by Peter Ackroyd, poetry by John Donne, W.H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, and Czeslaw Milosz The Holy Bible (I'm interested in reading the Geneva Bible, the Bible Shakespeare used)

Hobbies or outside interests:

Walking: Either with my dog Marilyn or taking really long walks (200 - 400 miles) Afternoons strolling through Art Galleries Evenings at the Theatre Hebridean Island Hopping

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