The Toddfather: “A Nexus of Many Tribes”


By Kylie Holman, Contributor

Dr. Todd Robinson always knew he wanted to become a teacher, despite multiple counselors urging him otherwise. He was encouraged to become an accountant, but there is no room for mock Spartan kicks in the business world. Teaching filled his need to express his creativity and be around a variety of people without the disciplined monotony of a desk job. Robinson wanted to be “a nexus of many tribes.” It was either professor or prophet, and he found his following in education, garnering fans across campus.
Robinson is a lively component to the Creative Writing department. His classes include Autobiographical Reading and Writing, Introduction to Creative Writing, Fundamentals of Fiction and Contemporary Writers. He has taught at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and Creighton University, in addition to UNO.
His favorite class is the Thompson Learning Community (TLC) section of creative writing, because it has students with the broadest range of experience. “They all generally know each other and there is a strong sense of cohesion. It feels like we’re on a pirate ship to Zanzibar.”
The TLC has been essential to Robinson’s teaching career.
“It’s had a galvanizing effect on not only my teaching, but my life,” Robinson said.
One of his greatest moments at UNO was when he won TLC’s “Professor of the Year.”
“I felt like my skin was going to explode,” Robinson said.
Robinson relishes in the quality of the students and the need to help them succeed.
“The sense of being a member of a movement has really renewed my zeal for teaching, it might have even saved my life,” Robinson said.
Robinson is no one-trick pony. He is an active poet and incorporates this aspect of himself into his curriculum. Both are performative, transgressive and confessional. These elements allow for a really raw feeling in the classroom and allow a deeper connection with the students. It creates a safe space to “interpret thoughts and feelings through writing.”
Robinson is a very successful educator and even a published author. His book of poetry, “Note at Heart Rock,” is on sale for $8; an offer we can’t refuse.
Robinson is mortal, despite his godlike infinite wisdom. He admits that he sometimes agonizes over his teaching.
“I fret over my methods and I often wait until the last second to grade papers.”
To err is human and the Toddfather is no exception. However, this university would not be quite the same without his eccentric nature and the best air guitar solo this campus has ever seen.