Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Professor of English
St. Thomas Aquinas College
125 Route 340
Sparkill, New York 10976
Office: Spellman 105B
Office Hours for Fall 2016: M/W 2:00-4:00; by appointment
English 203 Writing About American Literature
"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing. Those who lack humor are without judgment and should be trusted with nothing."
St. Thomas Aquinas College is home to the Alpha Kappa Omicron chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honors Society.
Mooselookmeguntic Lake, Maine
"We walked over it with a certain awe, stopping, from time to time, to pick the blueberries which grew there, and had a smart and spicy taste. Perchance where our wild pines stand, and leaves lie on their forest floor, in Concord, there were once reapers, and husbandmen planted grain; but here not even the surface had been scarred by man, but it was a specimen of what God saw fit to make this world."
Henry David Thoreau, The Maine Woods.
I have had the pleasure of working at St. Thomas Aquinas College since 1998. Before that, I taught at Virginia Military Institute, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Middlesex County College, and Raritan Valley Community College.
Born and raised in the forgotten borough of NYC, Staten Island, I have loved reading from an early age, working through about five Hardy Boys novels a month. In 8th grade, my English teacher Sister Madeline, assigned us Victor Hugo's Les Miserables and lots of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, and I was hooked. At Tottenville High School, I had two really great English teachers: Carl Larsen and Hugh Rainey; they introduced me to Dickens, Hardy, and many, many more. In college and graduate school, I focused on American writers, including Hawthorne, Thoreau, Melville, Faulkner, Crane, Emerson -- and later others, such as Jim Harrison, Flannery O'Connor, Jack Kerouac, Nella Larsen, Jean Toomer, Wallace Stegner, and (my current favorite) Marilynne Robinson. I am also interested in works written by men and women of other cultures and times, especially the work of Dostoevsky, Gogol, Turgenev, Rilke, Jeelani Bano, and Anita Desai. I love nonfiction, too
-- especially the work of Peter Matthiessen, Barry Lopez, John Jeremiah Sullivan, and Bernd Heinrich.
Other than reading, I love fly-fishing, canoeing, and hiking in Western Maine; old films; watching The Simpsons, Arrested Development, 30 Rock, Better Call Saul, and Fargo; playing and obsessing about guitars. I listen to many types of music, everything from Patty Griffin, the Dead, Tom Waits, and G. Love; to 20th century music by John Tavener, John Adams, and Arvo Part; to Warren Zevon, Jay Farrar, Elvis Costello and (of course) Bob Dylan; to Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, Dexter Gordon, Kenny Dorham, and John Coltrane; to Bach, Mozart, Medieval Polyphony and, lately, lots of Mahler.