Alina Davis

Professor Sprout: How this blog started

– October 29, 2012

At first this blog was anonymous. It lived at – an address which captured my attachment to biology and, yes, the Harry Potter books. Eventually I decided to move it to this new website that has a more formal name. But I’m keeping my first post unchanged – with all its Harry Potter references – for the sake of a little bit of magic.

Original Post

I called my blog Professor Sprout because I teach biology, conduct research on plants, and love the Harry Potter books!

At Hogwarts, each year students learn something new. Each year they meet new teachers. Each year they are exposed to different teachers’ personalities and different teaching methods. Eventually, some of the students become teachers themselves – and return to Hogwarts to teach new students who arrive each year to start their own journey of discovery!

I love this stuff. I’ve lived in “the world of academia” for many years. In my native country overseas I’ve come a long way – from first-year student to university professor. A few years ago I’ve started a similar journey in the United States, which has become my new home. This time I am a doctoral student, once again studying to become a university professor. Although this time I feel different – not only because I am older or because I speak a different language. Having went through some twists and turns along the way, I have started to think much more about how I study, and how I teach, and what I can do to become a happy and successful professor here in America.

I have decided to start this blog in hopes that it will help me find a balance between my previous experience and the new knowledge I’m discovering. My blog will be about different things; things which have an effect on my teaching, my research, and the way I advance towards my degree. By sharing my thoughts through this blog, I hope to better understand what kind of professor I actually want to become during this new academic journey.

So let’s see where the Hogwarts Express takes me and what new stations I am about to discover!

Hogwarts Express