Some years ago when I was a student, I viewed my professors with a great deal of admiration and curiosity. I wondered, where did they live? What did they do for fun? What kind of cars did they drive? Occasionally, I feel that students may have similar questions about me. When I run into students at the supermarket, for example, I find that they show great interest in what is in my shopping cart. On this page I provide some personal information.
- I was born in 1961 in central Texas town outside of Austin called Marble Falls. I have six older brothers and sisters and a twin brother.
- My supermarket cart contains nothing unusual, except perhaps the one gallon container of salsa, lots of cilantro, and an ample supply of cayenne and jalapeno peppers.
- I am married to the lovely Annie, a physiologist and physician assistant who teaches and writes in Gainesville.
- Annie and I met while I was spending a year sabbatical at Texas A&M University. Despite my boyish good looks and disarming charm, her interest in me was tepid. However, my persistence eventually wore her down and we were married on March 11, 1995.
- I am an avid runner and particularly enjoy running road races such as 5 Ks, 10 Ks and marathons. Remarkably, I have finished most races I entered, sometimes even before the race officials turned off the official race clock.
- I am a passionate fan of traditional Irish and Celtic music. I play fiddle and often am found playing Irish music with a group of people from around Gainesville. Among my music skills is the ability to clear a room of listeners moments after I begin playing. I often take my fiddle with me when I travel and play music with Irish musicians in the cities I visit.
- One of my (former) hobbies was brewing beer. Occasionally I brewed something that was palatable, even good. More often than not, however, the beer I brew serves as a reasonable substitute for radiator fluid or weed killer. In compliance with the CDC’s toxic substances lab, I no longer brew beer.
- I have an evil twin brother. Although he goes by many names (e.g., Satan, Lucifer), he most often goes by John Shepperd, the author of all lies. Growing up with John was a daily war between good and evil, fighting over globally important issues such as whose turn was it to take out the garbage. Naturally, John pursued a career in law while I chose the more noble career of education.
- Many people ask if John and I ever played tricks on other people. The answer, of course, is yes. Perhaps the most memorable was in high school, the night of the homecoming dance. I was the yearbook photographer and had to arrive at the dance early to take pictures. My twin agreed to pick up my date. At my date’s house he was greeted by her parents and decided on the spur of the moment that it would be easier to pretend he was me rather than explain why I was not there. However, this was a big night and her parents wanted lots of pictures. In the end they took about a roll of pictures of my brother and my date in some very cozy poses. John truly is the personification of evil.