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Sean Wilkinson September 2017

Sean Wilkinson

 September 2017

Photo of Sean Wilkinson

This month we are highlighting Sean Wilkinson, one of our GEW instructors here at CSUSM. Interview by Carrie Morrow. 

CM: Let’s jump right in.  Why did you get involved in teaching?

SW: One word: money.  Just kidding.  Actually, I come from a background of educators.  My mom was a teacher, and she worked in education my entire childhood, and so I’ve always grown up respecting educators.  When I did my BA program at Santa Cruz, and I was studying literature, I think my favorite part about life up there was just working one-on-one with the professors.  I always wanted to emulate them, and I also thought that by getting involved, I could bring in a fresh perspective.

CM:  I like that!  So, like me, I know you use a theme in your GEW class.  Your theme is “Humor.”  Why did you choose it?

SW: Humor is an all-inclusive theme.  It doesn’t matter your culture, your upbringing, your background, your wealth – humor is something that involves everyone.  It is also an interdisciplinary topic; it doesn’t matter what field you are going into, whether it is nursing or business, humor is being studied there.  It’s grounded.

CM: That’s so true.  Let’s move away from the work-related questions, now.  What do you do when you're not teaching?

SW: I think my primary hobby is that I go to a lot of concerts.  Before I started working full-time, and before I had my kid (who is one), I averaged about 85 concerts a year.

CM:  Wow!

SW: Yeah – once a week, if not more, just to check out new talent – that’s why my hearing is so bad!  Cautionary tale: wear ear plugs.  Believe me.

CM: Oh, dear.

SW: I don’t go as much as I used to.  I also go to Disneyland, probably more often than I should.  I also dabble.

CM:  I don’t know dabbling.

SW:  You wouldn’t.  I also play a lot of board games.

CM: What’s your favorite board game?

SW: Hmm.  Sushi-Go.

CM: Huh?

SW: It's about sushi. And Camel Up

CM: Huh?

SW: It's a camel-racing game.

CM: If you say so.  Okay, back to the interview.  What is your biggest advice for students?

SW: Don't text [as Professor Wilkinson texts on his phone].  Okay, seriously - recognize that learning is not just about the grade.  It's about building community, expressing ideas, and conversation.  The grade is just a grade.  It does not inherently represent how educated you are.  Commit to being engaged, and go past the bear minimum.

CM: Solid answer.  Back to fun questions: you are stranded on a deserted island.  What are three things you would want with you (besides family).

SW: A boat, a life jacket, and shark repellent.

CM: So practical.  I would have said a book or something.  Speaking of books, any recommendations for reading?

SW: Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ‘72 by Hunter S. Thompson.  It’s very relevant. And The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.

CM: What was your last Netflix binge?

SW: Parks and Recreation.

CM: Well done, you. 

SW: Ron Swanson is my spirit animal.  

CM: I see it. The best.