The Commerce Journal


July 10, 2008

With a little luck, she made it to Commerce

Dr. Kathryn Jacobs' interest in Tolkien, Medieval literature brought her to university


She now teaches graduate courses on Chaucer, Medieval studies, Beowulf, Shakespeare, development of drama, Victorian and modern literature as well as undergraduate courses on Medieval Canterbury, Survey of British Literature, Shakespeare, Literature of the Western World, Mythology, Introduction to Literature and Composition.

Although she said she had always loved English, she was once told to choose another profession. But, fortunately, she chose not to listen.

“I was given some rather bad advice when I was young; I was told not to go into English. I really loved literature, and it finally occurred to me that I was much more likely to thrive in an area I was good at and liked. I went with what made me happy,” Jacobs said. “I always wanted to teach. I would sit in elementary school and listen to teachers ask if anyone didn’t understand and if a student raised their hand, the teacher would go back and give the exact same explanation, word for word, over again. While I was listening to her, I would sit and think of how I would explain it in order for them to get it.”

Jacobs has developed her own style of teaching that has received praise from students.

“I have always gotten such nice complements from students. The most common one I get is that I am so energetic. But it’s when students tell me that they are switching to become English majors that I really feel honored,” Jacobs said.

Chris Nance, a student of Dr. Jacobs, said her Shakespeare class was really enjoyable. “Dr. Jacobs is a professor who obviously works hard to ensure that her students enjoy literature as much as she does,” said Nance.

Jacobs has been in Commerce since 1993 and regularly attends the Commerce Church of Christ. She has been married to her husband, Douglas, for 29 years and has three children, Rachel Jacobs, 25, Elizabeth Jacobs, 20, and Elizabeth’s twin brother Raymond, who died at 18.

Jacobs has written one book, “Marriage Contracts: From Chaucer to the Renaissance Stage,” and is in the process of publishing some of her many poems in “Advice Column,” a chapbook due out later this fall. Since January of 2007 Jacobs has published more than 65 poems.

Stinton is a student at Texas A&M; University-Commerce in Dr. Lamar Bridges’ summer journalism class.

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