Michael Winn

I grew up the first of seven children in San Luis Obispo, a small town on the central California coast. My dad was a mechanic, my mom a full-time mom, and I was a nerd before the word was invented. Poor at sports and friendship, I focused on the world of books and science.

Though my parents were adult converts to the life of Jesus and I talked the talk along with them, I was cold, self-absorbed, and shut-off. I “prayed the prayer” and confessed faith in public, but my life was not really changed until I came to an abrupt halt at age nineteen. My life made no sense, and I was depressed much of the time (but smiling!). Then I reluctantly agreed to give in and let Jesus rule in my life, and the change was like night and day.

I’ve done a lot of exciting things–directed relief on the Cambodian border, married Prinda, a lovely Thai girl who has become my friend, counselor, and the mother of our two daughters; taught English and public speaking here at Cal Poly for 20 years–but nothing compares with that burst of life and light that Jesus brought into my life. and he has continued to give himself since I first surrendered my life to him.

My Life

  • Friends describe me
    Curious, egg-headed, rotund, talkative
  • Hobbies
    Reading, trail walking, chess
  • Fantasy dinner guests
    Socrates, my dad, Ralph Young (high-school friend now prof at Rochester), and C.S. Lewis
  • In college I drove
    a 1950 Chevy 2-door sedan.
  • Worst school subject
    Soccer (with swimming a close second).
  • College for undergrad degree
    Los Angeles Baptist College
  • Best advice I ever got
    "You will never become the teacher you could be until you begin to love your students."
  • Favorite books
    Too many to list titles: The Bible, C.S. Lewis, Robert Frost, Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Donne, Dylan Thomas, George Macdonald, Søren Kierkegaard, Isaac Asimov
  • Favorite movies
    A Thousand Clowns, The Maltese Falcon, The Quiet Man, The Last of the Mohicans
  • Favorite city
    Chantaburi, Thailand
  • Favorite coffee
    Folger's drip
  • Nobody knows I
    At age twelve, I lay down and put a piece of bread on my face, so I could get close to a hungry deer.
  • If I were not a professor, I would
    Writer (non-fiction and fiction) and translator (from Thai)
  • Latest accomplishment
    Converted 8,000 titles in text format from the Gutenberg Project into MS Word format, adding diacritical marks where lost and foreign language quotations where omitted.
  • Current research
    Converting the 1909 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica into Word format; writing an introduction to daytime bruxing (tooth grinding), showing how its etiology is different from the more common nighttime bruxing, and trying to develop a modality of treatment that takes into account the significant differences.
  • Quote

    Jesus: "I have come that you might have life--and have it more abundantly!"

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