(Photo: Emily Schneider)
By: Samantha Jewell, Humans Editor
What brought you to Regis University?
Work. Fate. I was teaching part time at Metro State University and one of the other part time instructors told me that she was leaving and that there would be class or two available here and I grabbed it, it was work. It was fate; I grew up and went to a Catholic school until I was in the 6th grade and the circle closes.
How did you get involved with playing pool and into the position to start the pool club?
I played pool when I was a teenager and then I didn’t play again for 40 years. I came into Walker’s Pub one day and I looked at the equipment and it was in a very bad state and I thought, well I can take care of that, so I fixed it up. After I got it all fixed up and pretty, I thought hmm this used to be fun and I started playing again a little bit. Then, more students started playing and I discovered that it was really fun and that I actually learned quite a bit when I was younger and I was amazed that after so many years I could still play. I also started getting to know more and more students that I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten to know and I really liked that. Now, I was a restaurant manager for 20 years and this whole thing (Walker’s Pub) feels pretty comfortable to me. And a lot of it became about hospitality too; I started seeing students who, for all the myriad of activities here and for all the fellowship and support I started noticing a lot of students who didn’t know anybody and didn’t have a place to hang out, so this became for many of them that. I made a point to make all of them feel welcome. It has become a community and for the guys that play here I insist upon that. When somebody new comes in that we don’t know they have to feel welcome.
What does the Spanish Table Involve?
The Spanish Conversation Table is a Tertulia, an informal meeting of Spanish speakers to talk about current affairs, arts, etc. We meet every Thursday in Walker's Pub from 11:30 to 2:00. The Spanish Table is open to all members of the Regis community who want to converse in Spanish. Beginners are welcome and there are special activities for them to practice speaking the language they are learning. Members of the Spanish department and Spanish speakers from other departments drop in to converse with students of all levels.
What has been your fondest memory at Regis?
I am having one of them right now with the basketball team. They had their best season they have had in 20 years! Four or five of them were my students at one time and I love basketball. It was a really exciting season and I haven’t missed any of the games. I am having a lot of fun with that.
There is also a teaching thing, I get an email out of nowhere from a former student who was in my class two or three years before and she had never been an especially great student she very inconsistent. She would work and then she wouldn’t and so on. I had never thought too much more about it and then she sent me an email from out of nowhere that said, “I am doing my student teaching now, I have graduated and when I can’t figure out what to do I ask myself what you would have done.” Things like that come out of nowhere and they can just make all the difference. Little things like that happen from time to time and they make all the difference.
What is your favorite Jesuit Value?
Even after all these years I am still learning about that. Like I said I grew up Catholic but I am still old school mass in Latin, Heaven and Hell, Catholic. I don’t know if I can answer that exactly but I will answer the question I want to answer and I think it is pretty close. I have been here for 17 years and the one thing that I know for sure about this place is that I see people trying really hard to do well by others. Apart from all the rhetoric and statements of philosophy and all that I have seen over the years that I have been here, and you can’t fake that, that this organization, this place, tries really hard to do well by others. They can’t always but you can sure tell the difference when somebody is trying. They don’t always get it right but I think that they try really hard and that the value that are guiding them are good ones.
Is there anything else you would like to leave with the Regis community?
Sometimes I tell my students that I am a visitor from another century trying to learn about this one. It makes me a little nervous and sad sometimes the course of progress when it means that we interact with each other; I am talking about faculty and students both here that we interact with each other by technology. We do that so much now and it saddens me and worries me. I do like you are doing right now, if I need something from somebody and I get a chance I usually try and go see them and most of the time it is well received. I know Regis is all about action on a huge scale, they want to change the world and such and I don’t think all of us are put together to act and think on that kind of scale. I think there will be always or at least I hope there will be always a place for us to interact on the personal level. I sit down with students in the cafeteria with students, I don’t sit down in the lounge. I love the cafeteria because I love to eat and they feed us really well so I just sit down with students and they are just in their phones. I like my phone too and I can get wrapped up in it. But I make it a point to make conversation with the students and it is well received.