Featured teacher: Adrian Miller

Adrian Miller

Adrian Miller

By Michael Mishler

Adrian Miller, Spanish, instructor since 2011

Q: What made you want to teach at Washtenaw?
A: Well I started here as a student and I studied Spanish and had wonderful teachers, and I went on to learn spanish and get a major in it as an undergrad and also got a master’s degree in it and I really feel like this is a place that’s a home away from home for me. I’ve been here as a student and as a staff member in the writing center so it’s a huge part of my life.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
A: I play rugby and I consider myself a wannabe film buff and I really like TV and cinema and the arts. I’m also a huge museum nerd. I’m also a huge fan of Liverpool Football Club.

Q: What is the most interesting place you’ve traveled to and why?
A: I spent year non-consecutive a year and a half as an undergrad in Madrid, Spain. I desperately want to return there and I think about it every day and it’s what I’d call my second home.

Q: If you could ask anyone, living or dead, any question, what would you ask and why?
A: Oh that’s difficult, but I’d certainly like to meet world leaders. I’m a big politics junky, so I’d like to meet Barack Obama for example, or any other political leader like that.

Q: What is your most important life philosophy?
A: Now that I can answer. I have three values that I find very important: curiosity, imagination, and empathy, and I think those three things guide who I am and who I want to be. I try to carry those values here as a teacher at Washtenaw.

Q: What is your favorite restaurant?
A: That’s funny because I used to have multiple favorite restaurants, but to be honest, I’ve started to learn how to cook, and I enjoy cooking a lot more than going to a restaurant. I feel like the best-cooked meals are home-cooked meals.

Q:What is the best book you’ve read recently?
A: I’ve just finished The Origins of the Urban Crisis by Thomas Sugrue (a Princeton professor). It’s about the social history of Detroit. I really like to read a lot about history and I’m a big history nerd.

Q: What is the most helpful advice you received growing up?
A: As cliché as it may sound, I think the Golden Rule sort of is something that I took head-on: “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” That’s a goal of mine every single day.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Well, through my mom, I have a British passport and I’m getting an Irish one. I’d really like to return to Spain one day. If it weren’t for my student loan debt, I’d probably be there right now, teaching English. But my goal is to return at one point.

Q: What is your reaction to the results of this election?
A: Personally, I’m certainly very disappointed, but I think that I tend to be a glass-half-full type of guy, so I think this may be a call to a new type of civic engagement. Since we live in sensitive political times, I want to emphasize that I usually keep my personal politics private and never endorse particular candidates or parties in class, so I think the main worrying thing about this country going forward is a lack of civic engagement and apathy. I think if we can really work on those things, we can really turn things around. I understand there’s a lot of people for whom the economy is not working, so I guess that’s my personal opinion, though I try not to openly involve politics too much as a teacher.



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