If you’ve been on campus long enough, you’ve probably seen him. Worn leather briefcase, a long, colorful scarf in the winter, and a bow tie. Always a bow tie. Even if you don’t know his name, you probably know who I’m talking about: Professor William Storm. A staple on campus, Professor Storm is an English Professor with a reputation for being kind and one of the most understanding professors you’ll get in your time at Eastern. Personally, I’ve had a class with him every semester I’ve been here (a perk of being an English major) and I always love those classes, even when I despise the material. I thought it might be interesting to get to know a little more about this professor we all (or at least those in the English department) know and love. However, we are both very busy people and we were unable to sit down and talk, but bringing back the fact that he is one of the most accommodating professors, Professor Storm was willing to answer some questions through email for me.
The first thing I was curious about was what his favorite part about teaching at Eastern specifically. He replied, “I love the students here. We have students who are deeply committed to their studies, and we have students who are deeply committed to their faiths…But we also have students who are unsure of their studies or their faiths, and so we have a great opportunity to see a range of students in our classes. This excites me because it means I get to teach to a whole host of interests and concerns–not just to a single perspective or group. Those experiences, I hope, make me a stronger teacher, and it certainly challenged me to find ways to approach the material to make it meaningful for those different groups.” I was also curious to know what drew him to teaching, to begin with. “I was destined to be a doctor–my stepfather was a well-known cardiologist, my mother is a nurse, my stepmother is a nurse, my older sister is a nurse, and my younger sister is a P.A….But sometime when I was in high school, I recognized that it was a far too challenging enterprise to discuss life-and-death matters. I liked, however, the idea of discussing big ideas to people, and I liked the ways that my teachers were this constant presence who could engage me in subjects that I might not have an immediate draw towards. It also helped that my dad is a teacher, and I never saw him bothered about going to work–he absolutely loves his job,” Storm said. However, I was curious to know a little bit more about the person outside of the professor. Turns out, in his spare time Storm is “trying [his] hand at bookmaking and book repair.” According to him, “It is a different way of allowing me to see how texts are made, and it is a deeply artistic pursuit, and so I appreciate the effort that goes into making a really nice book or to keeping a beautiful book viable.” Even when questioned about what he would do if he could possibly do anything besides teach, Storm remains constant in his love for books and anything “that allow[s] me to read and talk about books and ideas.” Lastly, I wanted to know if Storm had anything he would want his students to know. In typical Storm fashion, his response was “ I would want students to know that professors are here because we want to see them succeed. We are available to help, so do not be hesitant to ask questions or to seek out help.”