Gayle Brandeis (‘90)
Profession: Writer, Teacher, Activist
Johnston Emphasis: Poetry and Movement: Arts of Expression, Meditation and Healing
When asked about Johnston’s influence on her life, Gayle quickly commented: “Johnston gave me the opportunity to stretch myself as a writer, a dancer, a thinker, a human being.” And this opportunity greatly impacted her career.
“As a writing teacher in more traditional programs, I give my students written evaluations instead of grades throughout the term until I have to record a grade for their GPA. After my experience at Johnston, I understand how much more a person can learn from a thorough, individualized evaluation than they ever could from a standard grade. My students appreciate my openness to negotiating with them about projects, and that my syllabus isn't necessarily written in stone. They realize that they’re empowered to make choices about their own growth as writers…it's in their own hands.”
Like many Johnston alumni, Gayle responded, “I am deeply grateful for the fact that I was able to create the education that I truly wanted and needed for myself. Johnston taught me to be more self-reliant and at the same time it taught me how to live in community; it taught me to trust my own voice and to listen openly to others' voices all at once.”