I call 'back home' Nashville, Tennessee, the capital of country music and evangelical Christian publishing--neither of which I've ever had an awful lot to do with. A good Patsy Cline rhythm or spirited gospel make the hairs on my arm stand up with a feeling of warmth and wholesomeness nevertheless. That feeling actually tends to grow the longer I'm away.
I studied international politics on a Tennessee plateau. Sewanee is a serene place with abundant trees and hills, pea gravel sidewalks as large as the streets, and the kind of architectural uniformity one more often finds in the medieval villages of England. We read John Locke in the courtyard, enacted the North Korean peace talks in tall oak chairs in the library, and wrote essays as an exercise in persuasion.
I have my professors to thank for compelling me to think beyond that plateau, and the university itself for enabling my pursuits in research which led me to the old continent.
I've been variously studying and teaching in Turkey, Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria for the better part of the past ten years. It's anti-discrimination politics and multiculturalism theory which rile me. Ask me about it and I'll tell you a story.
These are far more details than you'd ever hear me say in a classroom. I rather think of learning a language like learning to drive a car. I'm only there to steer you in the right direction and give you fodder for practice, but it's you who must drive.
A life-long love of writing poetry and prose allow me a certain passion for language which I most readily share with anyone who shows interest. Writing is my lifeblood and reason for being here on earth.