Dr. David Miller is a man with (probably) thousands of books and a cat that he only likes sometimes. He's an INFJ and owns too many ties for him to count. He loves God and good food. He's been at MC for over 25 years, teaching English to hundreds of students that have come through our school. He's become something of a legend on the third floor of Jennings, (where the English Department is located) and I waited for my chance to be taught by the professor I'd heard so much about. Students described him as incredible, intelligent, and often impossible.
This semester, I'm lucky enough to be in one of his classes. I've gotten to experience what it's like to be taught by a man that seems to know everything. Thanks to this blog, I've gotten to know him beyond his knowledge of English grammar. Today, I want to share those things with you, because Dr. Miller is a man worth getting to know.
I will not hesitate to say that Dr. David Miller is a professor that changes the lives of his students. He loves literature and, in turn, loves the English language. That love inspires the way he teaches. In fact, that love is why he became a teacher in the first place. Dr. Miller told me that he never planned on teaching, but it was while reading Shakespeare's King Lear in high school that he realized that he wanted to spend his life talking about literature. Teaching has been a means to that end.
He also never imagined that he'd end up in Mississippi. Dr. Miller is from Northern Pennsylvania, where his family still lives today. He attended Nyack College, a small school in the Northeast. After taking a year off after his undergrad, he made his way south to Baylor University where he received both his Masters and Doctorate degrees. It was after he earned his PhD that he came to Clinton, where he's worked and lived for over two decades.
It's no secret that Dr. Miller's classes are tough. If anything, he's known for the high standards he has for his students and his ability to answer any question with another question. As I'm currently in a semester of experiencing his, what feels like impossible, teaching style, it was fun to ask him about his teaching philosophy. Turns out, it makes sense. When I asked him why he's so tough on us, Dr. Miller told me that he doesn't want to sell us short. He told me that his goal is shape us into good, critical thinkers. He pushes us to help us think independently. He told me that education is "never about the answer, it's about the process." His role is to influence us, as thinkers, in the education process, as much as he can.
Dr. Miller has a million stories to tell and (what seems to be) endless knowledge to share. He is an incredible professor and, though his class is one of the hardest I've ever taken, I'm lucky to be his student. This blog cannot do his time at MC justice, but I hope that through these words you've gotten a better idea of who Dr. David Miller is. If you can, take one of his classes. If you can, ask him for a book recommendation. If you can, take every opportunity of learning from him. Dr. Miller is a part of what makes MC what it is; we are lucky to have him.
Here's to the professors that change our lives. Here's to Dr. Miller.
Ashton "Dr. Miller taught me how to properly use a semicolon" Ray