Former graduate turned professor shares interest in writing

by MATT MOLINAR//Opinion Editor

Steven Sanders brings a creative perspective to South Plains College as he begins a new chapter of his life in the English Department.

Stephen Sanders, SPC alum and graduate from Levelland High School, recently found his place at SPC, teaching English and composition course.

Sanders graduated from Levelland High School in 1992 and decided to attend SPC, where he graduated in 1994 with an Associates of Arts degree.

“After SPC, I went to West Texas A&M,” Sanders said. “I graduated from there with a Bachelor of Arts, with a double major in English and speech. Then I went to Texas Tech University, where I earned my Master of Arts in 2008.”

Sanders returned to Levelland to teach English. For 20 years, he has been teaching in Levelland. After earning his masters, Sanders decided he wanted to teach at SPC.
“It’s both a great place to learn and to teach,” Sanders said. “I always thought it would be a good idea to teach here.”

Sanders has always found writing, poetry and reading entertaining.

“My friends and I would spend Friday nights at home writing poetry,” Sanders said.

He also claims to be a huge movie buff, with his favorite films being a three-way tie between ‘The Shootist,” “Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring,” and “Shadowlands.”

He has one 4-year-old child named Stellan with his wife, Kristy, who is also an educator at Capital Elementary School in Levelland.

One interesting thing about Sanders that some wouldn’t guess would be that he is a member of MENSA. MENSA is the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world, only accepting members with the top 1 percent of the highest IQ throughout the world.

“I like to brag about it,” Sanders said. “I never thought about taking the test until my wife convinced me. Then I found out, and it was quite a surprise. You get to meet folks that have the same interests. It’s more of a social thing, where you get to go to things like conventions.”

During his last days working at Levelland High School, he started writing his first novel. He is now done with his first draft and is currently in the process of editing the work.

“Now, I’ve just got to rewrite it,” Sanders said. “It’s an urban fantasy novel.”

He also spends time devoted at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Levelland. He serves on the council at the church which he says is a nice place to belong.

“I love architecture as well,” Sanders said, “religious architecture, especially. I’m interested in how people express their faith through architecture. For example, I’ve never been in a Mormon temple. But, it’s interesting to me. To me, it seems like they put a lot of importance on the structure. It seems to me like religious architecture is an expression of people’s ideas about a deity or of what they have their faith in.”

Sanders also says he has a love for learning.

“When I read, or if I have a choice to read something, it’s usually science fantasy” Sanders said. “But it’s more often non-fiction. One of my favorite books is ‘The Making of the Atomic Bomb.” By Richard Rhodes “It’s about everything they did to figure out how they would make the bomb, to the present.”

In the future, Sanders sees himself finishing his book, and hopefully owning his own printing press.

“I would love to see my book published somewhere,” Sanders said. “I don’t care if it’s in an airport bookstore. I just want it on paper. Once Stellan gets old enough, I’ll probably go back and get my Ph.D, just for the heck of it. I’m really interested in the printing industry as well. I’d love to own my own printing press, printing limited edition books.”

Sanders says that if there is one thing everybody who knows him knows about him, it’s that he has Obsessive Compulsive Dissorder, or OCD. He says he’s willing to talk to anybody about it.

“I have it controlled,” he said. “It’s a part of my life. You talk to doctors, counselors and you take medicine. I wish it wasn’t part of my personality, but it is. So I’m willing to talk to folks about it who want to talk about it.”

Sanders says that he especially loves teaching. Growing up in a family full of educators has helped him in realizing his love for teaching.

“My sister is a teacher, my mom was a teacher’s aid and my father taught in the army,” Sanders said. “So I guess it was natural.”

One response to “Former graduate turned professor shares interest in writing”

  1. Great article! Excellent subject matter!

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