A New England Yankee Braves the Range
Jessica Reffler Turner is a writer, rider, and teacher. She is also the mom of two boys, Seamus and Malcolm. She moved to Tucson, AZ five years ago after living in Jacksonville, FL for a year and on St. Simons Island for seven years. Much to her dismay as a New York Yankees fan, Seamus was born in Boston, Massachusetts in the shadow of Fenway Park. Fortunately, he has not gone the way of his uncles and Gumpa Jay. Early brainwashing – successful!
Jessica started writing for the sports page of The Shoreline Times in 1986 while serving as scorekeeper-manager for the Lyme-Old Lyme High School baseball team. As a child of the ’80s, she typed her first term paper on a Smith-Corona electric typwriter, but printed her papers out on a dot-matrix printer by senior year of high school. Barring cost and space, she’d have collection of vintage typewriters; instead, she settles for admiring serif fonts, lamenting that she cannot use them on WordPress.
Following an English degree at the University of Connecticut, Jessica pursued her dual interests of riding horses and writing with a editorial position a Practical Horseman magazine, which culminated in a the March 1995 cover story, “An Eye for an Eye.” Later, while living in Atlanta, Georgia, she found herself in a more hands-on position teaching riding a Girl Scout camp.
A teaching degree from Emory University. A two-year spell in Cambridge, Massachusetts, including her first English teaching job, the millennium, and a Seamus. Then a journey into the Deep South, where she taught freshman and sophomore English at Brunswick High School. While it wasn’t easiest of places to integrate for a liberal Connecticut girl, adversity does breed character. She endured the heat, the humidity, the sand gnats, but enjoyed the ocean and the slower pace of life, as well as new a baby – Malcolm – in 2005. Malcolm was born sixteen weeks premature and spent five months in the NICU before arriving home with a tracheostomy, a feeding tube, and on oxygen. Now seven and thriving, Malcolm has been the inspiration for Jessica to pursue a grant and scientific writing.
In Tucson, Jessica has taught developmental and freshman writing classes as an adjunct professor at Pima Community College. In 2013, she completed Professional Writing graduate certificate with Northern Arizona University. Currently, she is completing an M.A. in Rhetoric and the Teaching of Writing. Her latest paper is ‘O, the pity of it’: Othello and Epilepsy in Oliver Parker’s Othello. (Download copy Othello Conference Paper.)
She lives with her two boys, a greyhound, a Labrador retriever, and Dr. Jones, the cat.