[deep breath] Ok, let's see. My Dad was a prof. I grew up in a college town. My Mom was a teacher. I remember the joke: What are the 3 best things about teaching? A: June, July and August!
But my road to teaching, and my road to Christ, were interwoven. I grew up around both, and saw the merits of each. I can't say I steered fully toward either until, actually, about the same time. My youth was marked with years of being an outcast (skater, artist, rebel, contrarian). I asked "why?" a lot. I was the kid in my confirmation class (it's a Presbyterian thing, you wouldn't understand---kidding) who always pressed for explanations and evidence.
My undergrad yrs were distinct for the devotion to my new major (landscape architecture) and trying to find myself. Passion marked whatever I pursued (everything else was a bore to be endured). But my life was a contradiction of values, and that omnipresent reality was there like my shadow. I recall getting a glimpse of myself when a classmate--Norman--asked if I wanted join him and his Campus Crusade buddies for prayer. Observing my reaction to his offer (see earlier note on contradictory outlook) I began to ask what was up in my heart.
Sometime thereafter I had two other influences. First, the darkness of the metal I was listening to (Flotsam n Jetsam, Accept, Judas Priest) begged hard questions about my reason for listening. Second, a took the challenge to meet with a guy from Crusade for one-on-one discipleship. His pointed use of Bright's 4 spiritual laws tract cut through the contradictions in my views.
The seeds of change--the discipleship, the lifeline alternative of Stryper, Bloodgood, P.O.D. and other bands--would take the ensuing yrs to take solid root. I praise the pivotal change of my return to grad school (TAMU) for an MLA and subsequently finding Grace Bible Church. The impact of Pastor Dwight's sermons and, later, the mentoring of Dr. Walter Bradley, would be instrumental in my return to Christ. However, none of those impacts holds a candle to the positive changes God worked in me through my new wife, D.
My story then winds its way thru a PhD (VPI), going ABD into a visiting instructor position to build my vita, and then 11yr at Washington State Univ. In each of those years I was blessed to have a strong home church base, which is pivotal for one's growth. I also had core groups of male mentors/peers/mentees. Some of those I sought/formed, and others I was recruited to. None were without important merit.
Finally, for the past two years, I have taken on an administrative position of service at USU, acting as department head. If teaching is an act of being a servant leader, my present role is even more so. It has been a great blessing, and daily an opportunity to die to myself, and seek to help others. That was not me, not so many years ago. I can only wonder at the changes Jesus has wrought in me. And how much more there is to change.
Michelangelo, when found staring at a massive block of marble, was asked what he was doing those many months, replied to the effect of seeking to release the image that resided therein. I don't always welcome the chiseling, polishing, etc that God is doing on me, but I declare Him as the artist form whom all praise is due in any good that comes from me. May He be glorified in your reading of these words, and may you be unaffected by the words that are mine and not His.
Friends describe me
...a man I aim to be, but often don't believe I am.
Yurt building, dualsports, my kids, cycling.
Best advice I ever received
Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And your neighbor as yourself.
My worst subject in school
Chem or Precalc...it's a toss up
In college I drove
...few professors crazy. Oh, you mean my VW Dasher?
If I weren't a professor, I would
Probably have been a landscape architect.
Once, it was The Tracker. Now...Sources of the River?
I like to dine at smorgasbords...so I seldom have fave's.
Nobody knows I
...if I answered it'd be untrue. Nobody knows the depths of my self-loathing.
My latest accomplishment
Got to work early...and actually filled this out! Happy now, Rob?!
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