60 Seconds with Dr Joe Milford: Poet, Thinker, Very Cool Professor

      Dr. Joe Milford is an associate professor of English at Georgia Military College in Fairburn Georgia, as well as a department chair. He is also the host of The Joe Milford Poetry Show—where he interviews published poets on a regular basis and archive them doing readings of their works and discussing theories concerning writing (http://www.thejoemilfordpoetryshow.com/).

Why did you chose English? 
Actually, I initially wanted to be veterinarian; however, as I took my core classes in college, I fell in love with literature, and the rest is English Major history…

Why did you choose teaching?
Actually, I never intended on being a full-time teacher or professor—I worked odd jobs as a writer for years, and at one point in my life, I fell on hard times and picked up an adjunct job teaching literature classes—I fell in love with it—and here I am, eleven years later.

If you could do one thing over in your life, what would it be?
I would rethink going into my first marriage.

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Tom Waits—so I could jam with him just once.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with it?
Although I think this question is unfair, I guess the first thing I would do is clean up all of the debt of myself and anyone who I love. After that, with the five dollars I would have left, I would get a really awesome milkshake.

What’s a secret ambition of yours?
To be a famous poet—wait that’s not a secret….

What do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life?
To be moderate, tolerant, and patient.

How would you like to be remembered?
As a man who found a way not to compromise his ideals while also maturing in ways that made them useful to others.

What was your first job?
I was a bagger of groceries, sir.

What’s one big question you’d like answered?
I guess this is controversial, but I would like to know why so much suffering exists (genocide, holocaust, disease, pestilence, etc.) if there is a just God?

What is it that you absolutely couldn’t live without?
My daughter and my significant other.

What do you still want to accomplish?
I would like to do more radio shows and write more books—my daily workload constantly keeps me from my creative  life—and I find this terribly frustrating and unfulfilling.

If your life were a movie, what would the title be?
Moonrise Kingdom

What would you place in a time capsule that would tell people 100 years from now who you were?
A compass, an ammonite, a coin of the year I was born, a red-tail hawk feather, a fortune cookie, and a pocketknife.

How do you think education changes lives?
There would be no significant changes in our lives without education to temper us as beings.

How do you feel about your online courses?
I personally enjoy them a lot—I guess the only complaint I have is that I am not the superman students expect me to be in terms of immediate response!

What differences have you noticed between online education and face-to-face classes?
This question has many obvious answers, but one thing is tone in emails and responses to assignments—when you are face-to-face with someone, you know how to read their verbal and written text—when you must do this online, you have to be more careful about how you interpret communication.

How will students use what they learn in your online classes?
Through studying literature, in an online class or not, students develop a burgeoning global understanding, especially in terms of how all cultures have certain shared paradigms which remain the same—and a certain ethos which can be shared between all of us in the humanities—this study makes us more open-minded and brings us, hopefully, closer together as a species.


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