Most people don't know exactly how they got into their profession. I know exactly how it happened for me. My dad held his opinions very strongly, so we often engaged in arguments about politics, race, religion--you name it, we would argue about it. So I took a debate course in high school to learn how to argue better with my dad, but it really didn't help. Still, I decided that although I wasn't very good at giving speeches to an audience, there was something about it that I liked, or at least thought would be a useful skill. So I majored in communication in college. I saw that there was much more to the world of communication than just giving speeches, so I went on to earn my M.A. and Ph.D. Communication is not just a career, it is a pervasive part of everyone's life, and I love to be a part of it.
Communication is not the only thing that is important to me. I love travelling. There is so much to learn and enjoy by getting out of one’s familiar surroundings. God has created a beautiful world with interesting people and cultures all over it. Any excuse to travel is a good one.
Personal relationships are important to me. A surveyor asked a group of people over 95 years old what they would change if they could live their life over. None said that they would spend more time at work. The two most common answers were “I would take more risks” and “I would treasure my relationships more.” Americans are very good at working, but seem to be losing the skill of maintaining good relationships.
My favorite hobby is sailing. I love working with the natural elements of wind and waves. It is thrilling when the wind fills the sails and the boat begins to move silently across the water. I’ve sailed in many seas and oceans, but a breezy sunny day in a small boat on a nearby lake can be just as great.
Most of all, I love the Lord. I’ve been a Christian since I was young, but there was a time when I just didn’t know if God was real. I am passionate about truth, and I had to know if God is real. I felt that most of the proofs and disproofs of God were rather circular, so they didn’t help answer the question. But then I came to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The dramatic change in the lives of his followers and the explosive spread of the Christian faith was strong proof that after he was killed, something amazing happened. His followers claimed that he came back to life! If this wasn’t true, it would have been easy for the authorities to disprove it. Under threat of torture or death, none of the apostles ever denied that he really came back from the dead. The Watergate burglars couldn’t keep a secret for even a few days, but the apostles preached the resurrection of Christ to the end of their lives. If Jesus came back from the dead, then that proved to me that he was God, and that meant the God not only existed, but loved me enough to die for me. How could I not love him?
“Persons with any weight of character carry, like planets, their atmospheres along with them in their orbits,” --Thomas Hardy, The Return of the Native (1878)
Friends describe me
Extroverted, friendly, caring, opinionated but open-minded. I don't take myself too seriously.
Sailing, scuba diving, photography, watching college football
Fantasy dinner guests
Jesus Christ, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Babe Ruth, Joshua Slocum
Best advice I ever received
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4
My undergrad alma mater
David LIpscomb University, Nashville, TN
My worst subject in school
Greek did more damage to my GPA than any other subject.
In college I drove
1964 Pontiac Bonneville with 4-barrel carb
If I weren't a professor, I would
Charter boat captain or a blues singer in a night club
The Long Way, by Bernard Moitessier; The Long Journey Home, by Os Guinness; Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum; Flying Cloud, by David W. Shaw
Out of Africa, The Abyss, Dr. Zhivago, The Blues Brothers, Pretty Woman, Master and Commander, My Cousin VInny
Istanbul; Rio de Janeiro; Tbilisi; Beijing, Annapolis
Nobody knows I
I was the drum major in my high school marching band.
My latest accomplishment
Sailing my boat from Annapolis, Maryland to Cartagena, Colombia, and back with stops in the VIrgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Turks & Caicos Islands. This voyage was over 5000 miles.
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