The petty pace of my middle age creeps from term to term to the last syllabus of my career, still a decade distant. Unlike Macbeth, I face that future believing in significant purpose and possibility rather than fate. I value the myriad results of engaging UGF’s core questions in concert with colleagues and students.
Here’s the thing—reading and writing expand our capacity rather than restrict our worldview. My love of books, my own writing, and oral communication began in second grade when Willa Austin (our teacher) allowed five of us to form a geography club in the otherwise unused old school library. Instead of our restrictive reading group during class, we could escape to the adjacent room and page through atlases, encyclopedias, and huge books with ironic titles like A Brief History of the World.
Since that time, I have enjoyed visiting libraries and bookstores whenever I travel the world’s stage. I grew up in Indiana and lived in Wisconsin and West Virginia before moving to Montana in 1987. Thanks to family vacations and personal curiosity, I have visited 49 states (Hawaii remains), Mexico, and all ten Canadian provinces and their capitals. Professionally I have taught high school, slaughtered hogs, kept books for hotels, and taught college. Teaching English at UGF has been my job of most success and longest duration, allowing me to sneak up on many interests and ambitions.