I discovered my vocation when, as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, I
was assigned to teach English in a Senegalese lycée. Upon my return to
the US, I set my B.A. in political science
aside to take up advanced studies in French, including a year spent in
Paris on a French government scholarship. Too many years as a graduate
student and one too-long dissertation later, I was armed with a Ph.D.
and ready to take on the academic world.
My teaching career took me first to Ohio Wesleyan University, a school I
had attended as an undergraduate. Dropping enrollments in the 1970s
plagued OWU and eventually I made my way to Maine where I lived in the
woods with the bears while teaching at the University
of New Hampshire. After two years, I had had enough of the harsh
climate and headed south to Furman University where I have been since
Hired as a specialist in 18th Century French Literature, I soon
discovered that life in a liberal arts institution required versatility
and willingness to adapt and retool as one's career progressed. French
civilization quickly became an additional specialty
until the digital revolution began -- with me, not without me! In 1996,
I was appointed director of the Language Resource Center and helped to
design and later run the first digital language learning center on
In the final phase of my career I have developed an avocation into part
of my vocation and now teach several courses in French Cinema.