Rachel Toor

In the Spotlight is an opportunity for the campus community to get to know one another better. The goal is to build Eastern’s community by becoming familiar with the faces of faculty and staff members.

Date: Feb. 6, 2012

Title:  Assistant Professor

Department: Creative writing program, Department of English

Number of years at Eastern: I’m in my sixth year

Favorite book:  I don’t really do favorites, so here are some books I’ve read recently and loved: Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Nick Flynn’s The Ticking is the Bomb, Jennifer Egan’s Welcome to the Goon Squad, Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding.

Favorite movie: Recently? Bridesmaids, War Horse.

Favorite restaurant: My colleague Natalie Kusz’s kitchen.

Favorite quote:  “I would have written you a shorter letter but I didn’t have the time.” Pascal

Favorite vacation: Going to the Missoula, running many, many miles in the mountains, and then having friends make me dinner. Maybe elk. With good wine. And lots of dessert. Chocolate dessert. Oh wait—I do that all the time. Does it still count as a vacation?

Volunteer activities: I’ve enjoyed teaching creative writing in the pokey—at Airway Heights Correctional Center. The prisoners are more motivated than many graduate students. I also lead marathon pace groups.

Awards received within the past five years: I get some for running, some for writing, but I think that the “Best Dog Mother” award will be the one I’m most proud of when Helen, my dog, finally gets around to making it.

If I could do anything today I would: Do exactly what I’m doing: write, read, teach, travel, run, hang out with my friends. What could be better?