STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 07/24/2008

Top Six

Top Six: Rocks, Papers, Karate: What Faculty Do for Fun
Intro by Jo Kadlecek

Recently I asked colleagues a question that had been gnawing at me since I arrived: What do the faculty here do for fun? I sent out a very unofficial survey. And in case "fun" was a foreign concept to these hardworking scholars, I gave them hints: What hobbies or creative outlets did they participate in semi-regularly to keep from becoming too serious or to help keep them jazzed? I learned a lot--mostly that we have quite a musical bunch, and that our definitions of fun are as varied as our disciplines. Some of the answers follow.

1 | Rocks are for Moving
Rocks. I love rocks. I move them and build stone walls around my garden and on my shaded rocky ridge where I also have a moss garden. When I'm not playing with rocks, I like baking bread--for the fragrance, for giving away, and for eating even. I like to tinker with the recipes and try new things. I don't like surveys or shopping (shudder!). Music: church organist.

Ann Ferguson professor of English

2 | Reading the Days
I like reading the paper, reading really as much as I can. I'll read Narnia to my kids, but I also like collecting stamps, running 5Ks, hiking, birding, camping, and going on dates with my wife every now and then. West Wing reruns, Numbers on Friday, and Saturday Night Live--when we can stay up that late--are favorites as well. Music: concerts with friends.

Paul Brink associate professor of political studies

3 | Black Belt Camper
I love studying and practicing martial arts. As a matter of fact, I go to a karate camp each spring and fall in Mississippi, where I originally began studying karate 10 years ago. At this past camp (spring '08), I tested for my second-degree black belt (called "Nidan" in Japanese). I survived . . . barely. I also teach karate every Thursday night in Newburyport to kids and adults along with a few other black belt instructors. Music: local coffeehouses.

Chuck Blend assistant professor of biology

4 | Dancing by Numbers
Having been discouraged from using my creativity within my profession (creative accounting = Enron), I sew, quilt, make cards, invent recipes and enjoy storytelling. I'm addicted to several TV shows: How I Met Your Mother; Lost; House. I find the effortless entertaining relaxing. I love to dance, falling somewhere between so bad I choose to be a wallflower and so good people will ask me to show them my moves in a gray area. Music: singing in the praise band in church, in the car, in the shower and in my head.

Casey Cooper assistant professor of economics and business

5 | Staying ON the Treadmill
I teach group exercise classes, cardio kickboxing and step aerobics twice a week, do strength training, recumbent bike and the treadmill 8-10 hours a week. I get free films through Interlibrary loan for date night weekly with my husband, and I cook regularly from Cooking Light. I "veg" out on Discovery Channel TV shows: Cash Cabs and Dirty Jobs. Music: listening to classical music and attending on-campus recitals and concerts.

Jennifer Beatson associate professor of Spanish

6 | Endless Discovery
I take ballroom dancing classes and love spontaneous outings with friends to ethnic restaurants in the area. I read the newspaper all year long and love The Boston Globe's Thursday calendar for its listing of free/low-budget events. I explore Boston every few weeks, go speed walking five times a week, and do long-distance bike trips. I love traveling, boating, hiking or downhill skiing. My theory is that I don't have to pursue fun; I just receive it as a gift. Music: folk concerts.

Peggy Hothem professor of recreation and leisure studies