Donald Furst

While in college, I took a fair number of courses in theology and ethics and also lived in a residential Christian community. The latter was a fascinating experience but definitely a mixed blessing during the wide-open seventies. Faith at that time was tilted very heavily toward social justice and political correctness, but light in personal piety, e.g. walking with the Lord. Once out of grad school, I was fortunate to start my college teaching career, and spent several years in a beautiful but remote rural area in a very small college. After a prolonged and frustrating engagement fell through, I lost heart and drifted away from church involvement, blaming God for not giving me my heart's desire. Also, I had noticed in the few times I went to church, that a single person goes unnoticed, since a couple is the smallest visible unit and a couple with children is even more visible. Single people know what I am talking about here, I suspect. Oops, looks like I am running out of space, so you'll have to ask me about North Carolina and the rest of the story.

My Life

Favorite Quote

"You would do well to pursue your causes with vigor, while remembering that you are a servant of God, not a spokesperson for God and remembering that God may choose to bless an opposing point of view for reasons that have not been revealed to you." --Barbara Jordan, former congresswoman from Texas

Friends describe me

Patient. Thorough. Energetic. Intermittently nerdy and wordy.

My hobbies

Fitness activities and wellness pursuits. Reading. Listening to my music collection from the 60s and 70s.

Fantasy dinner guests

C.S. Lewis, Kathe Kollwitz, Robertson Davies, Wanda Gag, Flannery O'Connor

Best advice I ever received

From printmaking professor Keith Achepohl, regarding a copper plate etching I was working on: I should make the viewer love what he is seeing the way I love it.

My undergrad alma mater

University of Iowa

My worst subject in school

Square dancing in 5th grade PE

In college I drove

Nothing...I didn't have a car until I was 26

If I weren't a professor, I would

be a woodworker, cabinet-maker, tool-maker

Favorite books

Collected short stories by Flannery O'connor, Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis, What's Bred in the Bone by Robertson Davies.

Favorite movies

Casablanca, The Third Man, O Brother Where Art Thou?

Favorite city

Iowa City, Iowa

Favorite coffee

My wife, three daughters, and I like it hot with a bit of half-and-half.

Nobody knows I

was a track and cross-country letterman at Iowa in the mid 70s

My latest accomplishment

Overcoming a lifelong high cholesterol problem with strategic exercise, fasting, and mass quantities of steel-cut oatmeal.

Current Research

Egg tempera painting, which is a difficult, fascinating, and misunderstood art form in much less use today than in 1400 A.D.