Meet DD Towler, Bright Futures’ Essay Specialist

Meet DD Towler, Bright Futures’ new essay specialist.

DD Towler Interview

What was important to you in high school?

In all honesty, it was baseball. My vision of the future was, “I’ll play baseball until I’m a hall of fame player, then I’ll retire.” But I had an English teacher who was the spark to my kindling for my love of reading and writing.
What are some favorite pieces of advice you give to students? — Your choices have consequences; consider them before you act. If you don’t find any, you haven’t considered hard enough.

What’s your breakfast order?

Scratch blueberry muffins with butter, sausage, eggs, and blackberries. And coffee. Definitely coffee.
What piece of advice would you go back to tell yourself in high school? — Take it seriously; you don’t get yesterday back.

What was your relationship like with your parents in high school?

Very stable. They gave me a lot of free rein, but it came with unmitigated responsibility for my actions. They were gentle in their guidance and kind in their discipline.

What were some of your favorite parts of college?

I got to read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Hobbit, and Lord of the Flies in class; I was essentially getting to read great books and assess them for a grade. I also got to write poetry and short stories; it was like getting a grade for having fun.

What were some of your most challenging parts of college?

Staying awake in class. Now, that is to say: I was balancing 6am workouts for baseball, after-class practices and weight workouts, and also a full load. Even for a twenty-year-old, energy is surprisingly finite.

When did you decide your major in college? or what was it like to choose your major?

I just kind of fell into it. My original paths had almost nothing to do with English, but I knew that, if I wanted to enjoy what I did for a living, something dealing with the English language was my ticket.

What is a highlight of your career?

It may seem small, but: writing stories that people have enjoyed reading. I mean, I like what I write, but it’s a real treat when others do, too.

Is there a GIF that you just love?

What are you reading or listening to right now?

My wife and I are reading The Chronicles of Narnia together, and I’m personally reading a few New Testament Commentaries, as well as Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing. However, if I may amend the question slightly: I am writing a collection of short stories based on particularly vivid dreams I’ve had, as well as a children’s book about a Rabbit and a Bear 🙂

What do you like about working with Gen Zers?

Without sounding condescending, I think they have a lot of untapped potential that they might not even know–or believe–is there. The thought of awakening a fire within them is exciting–that’s what my high school English teacher did for me.

What are some of your most used emojis?

The face-palm and the laughing face are high on the list.

What GIF captures your emotion when a student is admitted to a college?

Are you a morning bird or night owl?


What is something you love to learn about?

Oh man; how much time you got? Off the top of my head though: gardening, physics, Christianity, weightlifting, woodworking and carpentry, cooking, astronomy, history, chemistry, numbers, music theory, economics, engineering.

Person (or animal) most likely to make a guest appearance in a zoom call?

My pitbull, Beans.

Anything else?

I geek out over Lord of the Rings, baseball, grammar, musicians, Olympic lifting, and Donkey Kong (throwback to my childhood).