1) Many of the OC alumni talk about your class as a transformative experience. What is important to you as a teacher?
Students experiencing the joy of a story is important to me. So often we have to “weed out” joy in class – so often people see English Lit. as drudgery… it’s not. It’s fun. All too often I think school and even myself at times are the culprit in killing the joy of learning. Sometimes you have to peel away the layers of something/story to “weed out” that joy. In English for example, confusing rhetoric, Shakespearean language, terminology, etc. can kill the joy but also expound/reveal it once it’s understood/used. The British authors we study in class are funny, provoking, and saucy – It’s important to me as a teacher for students to see these works as they are… They heavily influence our entertainment today even… It’s important to me as a teacher for students to experience this joy – as we are going through a story or poem, I love it when they sit up a little straighter, chuckle, or start to probe further – once that happens, their perspective changes, and their joy is contagious.
2) You recently got married – congratulations! How’s married life? How did you meet your wife? What is something you like about her?
Married life is fantastic. I recommend it. Julia and I met through mutual friends – my former roommate and OC Alum Aaron Stys got married a few years ago, and his wife happened to be friends with Julia, and they set us up. I like everything about her… 🙂 I am attracted to her faith and the Holy Spirit working in her and her passion for God’s Word. I just enjoy spending time with her… We have many similar interests. We have fun together. We click.
3) What is something about you that most people don’t know?
I hated English in high school. It was my worst subject. I loved math. It was my best subject. This all changed for me in college. Also, I was engaged once before to a girl by the name of Wendy McGinnis (this was a story we fabricated one year in first period devotions and spread it throughout campus in order to prove the power of rumors/gossip/loose lips – I was surprised how fast it spread – all the women in the front office were gabbing about it by lunch that day and congratulating me and even people from back home in the Midwest – I don’t know how that happened! My first period class ran with this idea ! I had to make a formal announcement during 1st period to the campus the next day describing what actually happened and the reason for it. Some people were mad. Maybe they were a bit convicted… 🙂