On October 11th, the ESA hosted our second event of the year, Meet the Profs: They Came from Buchanan Tower! We are very lucky in the Department of English to have such easy access to a wealth of intelligent, funny, and personable faculty. This year, we were grateful for the presence of:

  • Dr. Siân Echard, Head of the English Department
  • Dr. Alex Dick, Chair of the Majors Program
  • Dr. Laura Moss
  • Dr. Judith Paltin
  • Dr. Robert Rouse
  • Dr. Rick Gooding
  • Dr. Ian Hill
  • Dr. Barbara Dancygier
  • Dr. Chris Lee
  • Dr. Jessica de Villiers

Thank you so much to all of you for joining the ESA at this special event. We are especially grateful to our language professors for coming out and helping us make connections between the literatures and language side of the department!

This year, the ESA executive team recognized that it is not always easy to walk up to professors—sometimes intimidating figures who we don’t always talk to one-on-one—so our Vice President, Rebecca, prepared conversation starters for profs and students alike. (Thanks, Rebecca!)

With regards to who would win in a fight: Beowulf or Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson, it was very clear to all of us who knew of Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson that Beowulf would win, hands down, because the Rock is just such a nice guy. It’s also perhaps worth noting that Dr. Rouse and the Rock have recently been in an elevator together, and that Dr. Echard and “Dwayne” are on a “first name basis.”

We also enjoyed conversations about good books (Dr. Gooding, have you picked up The Book Thief yet?) and “bad” books. It was very interesting to hear about some of the… “memorable” professors that our own professors have had (looking at you, Dr. Dancygier). We learned that sometimes your worst professor is actually your best professor… and sometimes they’re just your worst professor.

Other key takeaways: in matters of celebrity, your professors vastly prefer Cher to Celine Dion. They also have some surprising skills up their sleeves. For example, Dr. Lee took harpsichord classes while he was in undergrad. He advises students to take courses in other disciplines, courses completely outside of your comfort zone. You’ll learn to think in new ways and maybe even get an impressive anecdote out of it, too. A conversation with Dr. Gooding also reminded us to feel free to make your own academic experience: if there isn’t an “expert” on a topic you’re interested in on campus, then you can be that expert!

If you weren’t able to attend this event but would still like the opportunity to chat with professors in a more casual setting (and perhaps argue a case for the Rock), let us know! We are considering another Meet the Profs event for second semester, and if it’s something that English students want, we will make it happen for you.

Our HOWLween event is coming on October 30th! RSVP today to get in on spooky madlibs, a good game of Werewolf, candy, and cookie decorating…