Gordon Koestler
English Instructor

Biography

Gordon Koestler earned his undergraduate degree in American Studies at Washington State University and his master's degree in English at Central Washington University. A former award-winning journalist, Koestler has taught developmental studies, college composition, and various literature courses at YVCC for almost 20 years. He has served as liaison with the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education for the past decade and is an advocate for integrated studies and collaborative teaching and learning.

Advance Schedule Requirements: Allow at least two weeks advance notice
Travel Restrictions: Yakima County

Topics

Warnings from the Round Table: Lessons from King Arthur and Co. Preoccupation with material wealth, celebrity, and misplaced loyalties are not just contemporary problems. We had cultural and literary warnings of the dangers of such obsessions - in the 14th century! Mr. Koestler uses early Arthurian legend, especially "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," to show audiences the lessons from the Round Table and suggest why we seem to have such a hard time learning from these cautionary tales.
Reading, Writing, Ready for College Some critics suggest the "job" of high school is to get students into colleges, not to prepare them for the academic rigors of college and university classes. Mr. Koestler shares on his own experience as an under-prepared college student, as well as what he's learned as an instructor for developmental college students, to show students the reading and writing skills, practices, and attitudes necessary for college and university success.
From the Graveyard to Grad School Mr. Koestler enjoys teaching community-college students because he was once one of them. He began to resurrect his college career working days in a Tacoma cemetery and going to community college at night, eventually earning his two-year degree. His experience is much like many of the students who populate YVCC's classes and work one (or more!) jobs at the same time. After stops as a newspaper reporter and editor, as well as pre-graduate-school jobs as a hardware-store shelf-stocker, pizza-delivery dude and night-club bouncer, he earned his master's degree at Central Washington University and began to teach college. He understands the challenges and hardships of paying one's own way through college and university, and his message is simple: "Hang in there! If I can do it, so can you!"
Don't Forget to Read the Ads: Media Literacy for today - with Joy Clark, English Instructor What do ads "say" to us, and what do they say about us and our culture? In what ways can we respond to the messages in advertising? In this presentation, Joy Clark and Gordon Koestler demonstrate the importance of "reading" advertisements as a way to reinforce the critical skill of media literacy. Today more than ever, it is vital that citizens know how to "read" the signs and symbols of a consumer culture and market-driven economy. Clark and Koestler both teach in the English Department and approach this topic as a way to build critical thinking and analytical skills, and believe that the consumer culture that is cultivated in much of today's advertising-soaked, brand-saturated world has implications for our future as citizens and as members of a vital planet.
Please contact Joy Clark for more information and scheduling
509.574.6800 x 3285/
jclark@yvcc.edu