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People @ Goddard

Real name

Ruth Farmer, MS, MFA


People @ Goddard

Program Director
Residency Sites: Plainfield, VT


My activism took root in North Carolina during the turbulent, liminal 50’s and 60’s. Fighting for social change and seeing it come into fruition – of a sort – gave me hope as well as faith. I have always lived in the borderland between pragmatism and idealism because I know that hearts and laws change at vastly different rates. This border existence is a place of learning. I live with the past and in the present, while envisioning and preparing for the future. I’ve marched, boycotted, written letters, organized conferences, donated money, and amassed thousands of volunteer hours. In these small ways, I help to improve others’ lives. In these small ways, I help myself to become a better person. I learn about the things that make this planet a more humane place.

Several years ago, my life changed professionally and personally. My Master of Science in Administration informed my work as an administrator in colleges, community organizations, and public relations firms. But something else called to my spirit. I moved with my partner from Brooklyn, New York to Charlotte, Vermont. I earned a Master of Fine Arts in Writing and Literature. Teaching and writing have since become primary vocations and are acts of hope and faith. In addition to serving as a faculty member in Goddard’s Individualized BA and BFA Programs, I teach online and face-to-face courses at local colleges. I am also a writing coach for a management consulting service. Through these experiences, I learn at least as much from my students as they do from me.

Writing is a daily practice. In my journals, I draft and revise poetry and prose, constantly learning and relearning about the world in which I live. I have been an educator for over twenty years; yet, I approach teaching with the attitude of a novice. There is always something new to learn. On the page and in the classroom, I experience the excitement and trepidation that comes with showing up. Sometimes not much happens. Other times I am aware of breaking through: To express myself as I intended. To express myself in ways that surprise me or others.

Like writing and teaching, gardening, raising chickens, and caring for my Cairn terrier are daily activities that sustain me spiritually and emotionally. This work constantly takes me out of my comfort zone where learning can happen.

As a Goddard faculty member, I have worked with students interested in Literature; Creative Writing (particularly Personal Narratives and Poetry); Myths, Legends, and Fairy Tales; Community Activism; Women’s Studies; Music; Race and Racism; Education Theory; Gay and Lesbian Studies; American Studies; and Popular Culture. Coursework in other colleges includes Shakespearean Drama, Seminar in Educational Inquiry, American Literature, and Rhetoric.

Educational Background:

MFA in Writing and Literature, Bennington College; MS in Administration, Long Island University; BS in Health Science, Brooklyn College.

People @ Goddard

People @ Goddard