10 Questions With Professor David Plazek
Published: Friday, April 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2012 22:04
Professor David Plazek is known for his outbursts of Monty Python quotes and consistently repeating the line “It’s people!” from Soylent Green. He will no longer be teaching full time as of the end of the semester at Lyndon State College, and he looks forward to continuing to teach politics at Johnson State College next semester.
He earned two bachelor’s degrees (one in history, the other in political science) and a fifth-year teaching certificate from the University of Pittsburgh. He continued to score a master’s degree in public administration at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and later obtained a master’s and doctorate in political science from West Virginia University. Growing up in Pittsburgh, Plazek hoped to stay somewhat close to home. While he never planned on living in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, he is glad to now call the Northeast Kingdom home. Plazek sat down with The Critic to discuss how he ended up at LSC.
Q: So, how did you end up here?
A: My wife and I grew up in Pittsburgh, and we decided to look for jobs within a 10-hour radius. LSC turned out to be one of the schools interested in me, and I came up here to check it out and just really loved it. I’m not a “Vermont boy” though; I’ll always be a true kid from Pittsburgh!
Q: Did you work anywhere else before turning to teaching?
A: I worked as a mental health case worker and resident advisor, as well as a substitute teacher. I also had some fun in a band in my young adulthood. I started as a singer and then learned bass.
Q: What is your favorite weekend hobby?
A: I know it’s stereotypical, but it’s definitely being with my kids! They’re the focus of my life. Usually we’re out doing sports on weekends – this time of the year, it’s baseball. I’ve got two boys and two girls; the youngest is 1 and the oldest is 9.
Q: What time period is your favorite to study?
A: I have an affinity for the Cold War. It had a profound impact on the world with so much at stake and many compelling stories. I’m also a World War II junkie.
Q: Many political activists on the far right consistently bash the left. So, is liberalism indeed a “mental disorder”?
A: No. It’s an ideology about the way things ought to be!
Q: Who is your favorite president?
A: In the modern era, it is no doubt FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt). His approach added stability and strength to this country more than any other president.
Q: What’s your favorite music genre and group?
A: I cast a wide net and listen to a lot of alternative. My favorite rock band is “Rage Against the Machine.” I also always listen to the school’s station, WWLR, for my music!
Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
A: I want to live in many places. Right now, it’s Vermont because I can still see my family. I wouldn’t cross off Scotland and Canada in the future, though!
Q: What’s the best part of American culture?
A: There’s a general respect for freedom of conscience. Even though we have pockets of intolerance, there is a general belief that people should be able to think what they want.
Q: How tall are you – really?
A: I’m 6’7”!
Plazek, a self-admitted liberal, predicts President Obama will be re-elected to office in a close race.