Professor of English
Ph.D. in English, University of Iowa, 1990
experience: I have been teaching literature and writing courses full-time
at Clarke for more than 20 years.
My teaching philosophy is a lengthy document, but at the heart of my philosophy
is that teaching is all about relationships. Teachers teach best when they know
the student, and the student knows the teacher, and together they find a way to
understand one another.
Clarke’s impact on Gary:
I cannot possibly measure all the impact that Clarke has had on me over the
years. For many years I worked closely with two BVM sisters; I have worked
closely with many wonderful colleagues. There is something about growing older,
and yet knowing so many young students that changes one. I think Clarke has
broadened my horizons, brought me many wonderful friendships. Clarke has
inspired me when I felt stupid, cheered me up when I felt low, and consoled me
when I was grieving. I have worked beside so many good people over the years,
and benefited from the company of so many energetic hope-filled young people,
that I am sure I have benefited in a million subtle ways. Thank you, Clarke.
Gary’s impact on students:
You will have to ask my students. I am sure I have taught them a great deal
about specific works of literature and a little about writing and speaking. I
believe that we who teach become examples to our students, examples of what a
given kind of study and discipline does to someone. I hope my former students
are continuing to read and think and ask critical questions. I hope they tell
stories. I hope they care deeply about other human beings.
Movie – The
Godfather Parts 1 and 2
Book – War and
Peace (you didn’t ask but my favorite play is Hamlet)
Quote – "If you want to tell people the
truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you." Oscar Wilde
Class in college –
A Shakespeare class; the professor read us three plays, read them line by line,
stopping constantly to comment. She was deaf so there was no class discussion.
The last day she was reading King Lear, and tears were running down her cheeks.
I have never forgotten that; it was as if she had turned into King Lear.
Place traveled – I
am what used to be called an armchair traveler. I have often traveled to the West
Coast, Seattle and Southern California. My wife's family all live in Southern
Hobby – I write
plays and tell stories. I like to put the stories on my YouTube channel.