Q: How long have you been teaching at Heidelberg? What do you enjoy about teaching or being here that’s kept you here?
Since the fall of 1999. I enjoy teaching here because Heidelberg is a teaching institution. I love sharing my interests with students—who are always receptive—in small and intimate classrooms. The class sizes here promote discussion-based learning and the English department is very conducive and supportive of that.
Q: Describe your “approach” to teaching in one word.
Enthusiastic. I really love what I teach and I see [teaching] as an extension of the things I love.
Q: Mark Twain or William Faulkner?
Hemingway once said that all modern literature comes from Twain and I agree. He’s the watershed of past and present literature. But Faulkner is a wonderful extension of what Twain started, a sort of lineal descendent of Twain.
Q: Some of your classes have a film component and you know a lot about movies, so what are some of your favorite films / directors / genres?
I love American films of the 30’s and 40’s and adaptations of popular American novels, as well as the noir genre. If I had to list specific films, Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, The Best Years of Our Lives, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre are all on it. But more importantly, I look at how literature is rediscovered through film depending on the era and the influence of jazz in film. Literature, movies, and jazz all go hand in hand.
Q: Any advice for students—current or future?
Beware of specialization. The more narrow you specialize, the more obsolete you become; a liberal arts degree serves tremendous value. Do what makes you tick and work hard…Passion and work ethic are a great combination.
- Interview by Matt Echelberry '12