Ashleigh Brewer is living out her passion as an adventurous English professor.
Brewer was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas and attended Amarillo High School. She later moved to Lubbock, where she resided for about 10 years.
Brewer enrolled at Amarillo College, and then obtained a bachelor’s degree at West Texas A&M University. She later earned her master’s degree at Texas Tech University.
Brewer first went to college as pre-dental major. She took a biology class, before deciding she wasn’t going to dental school. But Brewer took interest in her English classes. She decided she was going to get her degree in English, but thought she better get a teaching degree as well.
“My favorite part of being an English professor is switching gears,” Brewer says. “I teach foundational grammar up to British literature.”
Brewer said she believes English lends itself to controversial topics, but in a more fictional aspect.
“I like to watch students grow from the beginning of the semester,” she says, “to see how much they work to find their voice and how they write well.”
In elementary school, she helped her teachers grade papers, so Brewer has been grading for years and has always loved it. Brewer says that one word that sums up her life as a professor is “adventure.” She sees teaching at SPC as a journey, because no days are the same.
Brewer describes her family as “crazy in a good way.” Her family is active. They enjoy laughing, watching movies, and traveling. Brewer and her husband Charley have been together for 14 years and married for around 10 years. The Brewers have a 7-year old son Cade, three dogs, and one cat. The Brewer family enjoys living in Shallowater, where they used to have chickens that were eaten by a coyote, unfortunately.
“My husband is the best, and our son is a miniature version of us,” Brewer says. “He’s precious and enjoys reading, which I love.”
Brewer adds that her family is “just like the three musketeers.”
Outside of class, Brewer favors audio and printed books to pass time. Since the semester began, she has completed four audio books. Her and her listen to “brain candy” audio books. Brewer’s favorite books are “Sense and Sensibility” by Jane Austin, the “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling, and “Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern.
As for audio books, Brewer and her son have listened to “Stuart Little” by E.B. White, and they are currently listening to a book called “Brisingr” from the “Inheritance Cycle” by Christopher Pasolini.
If Brewer is not with her husband or son, they are with church groups or at church events. Brewer sings on the praise team at her church, St. Luke’s southwest, where she used to be a worship leader. Recently, her church went on a weekend retreat with their youth group called “Ragamuffins.”
In their free time, the Brewer family enjoys watching movies at Alamo Drafthouse in Lubbock. If they have a “quote-along,” or hold events, the Brewers try to go. Movies, eating, and playing games such as Monopoly (in which Brewer gets destroyed by her son) are a few of their favorite activities. The Brewer family enjoys traveling as well. They have traveled to Mexico, Bermuda, Michigan, Hawaii, Malta, and Italy and cannot wait to travel more.
As for advice for her students, Brewer says, “College is meant to be a time of figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life. Students go into college thinking they are going to be one thing. But I went through phases where I wanted to change my major.”
Brewer says she had thoughts of getting a music degree or a pre-vet major because she thought veterinary pathology was cool.
“I ended up doing English because it was a hobby,” Brewer says. “But English was also something I loved.”
Brewer said she believes students should find a job to suit their passion and talk to someone in that profession to choose their major.
“Ask people what they love about their jobs and what they hate about their jobs,” says Brewer. “Because pros and cons exist in all fields.”
Brewer advises students to be ready to work hard all of the time, because college can be harder on a student than high school. She said that “brain breaks” are important as well.
“Students have to be well-rested, hydrated and take good care of themselves,” Brewer says. “Don’t just eat Oreos and Slim Jims for your meals, as my husband used to do.”
Brewer says going to class and studying isn’t going to work if you are not taking care of yourself. She understands college can be stressful, so if students need counseling or need to talk to someone at South Plains College, she says it is shame-free and getting help is important.
“My tip to students is to know your resources.” Brewer adds. “Whether it be academic, mental, or physical resources, find someone on campus that you can trust and ask.”