The ringing in of a new school year always brings in many new faces to Blue Mountain College. This semester, we have many new additions to the staff and faculty. To introduce these new faces, we’ll be starting a series where we’ll be interviewing all of the newcomers with a mix of serious and not-so-serious questions. The first person that will be featured is Dr. Thomas Tacoma. Dr. Tacoma is a new addition to our History and Behavioral Sciences department. If you’re enrolled in one of his classes this semester, then you’re already familiar with his passion for history. But, for those that haven’t gotten a chance to take a class of his yet, who is Dr. Tacoma? I was able to sit down and interview him a couple weeks into the school year.
Q: Why did you choose to come to BMC?
A: This is a great school. I had never heard of it before I saw the job posting, and I thought that I might as well apply […] I’ve always wanted to teach at a Christian liberal arts college. And, I had never been to the state of Mississippi before, but when I came here… This is a beautiful area.
Q: What is your favorite animal? And why?
A: I don’t really like choosing favorites that way… But, if I had to pick one, I would probably say a black bear. I don’t know; I feel like I would be a happy black bear. I think their diet is nice – they eat things like honey and berries and fish, and I like honey and berries and fish.
Q: Why did you choose to go into your field? What about history pulled you in?
A: History is a story about people. It’s a way to study people and understand people, at their best and at their worst. I’m interested in humans and what it means to be a person, and that means studying people across cultures and across times. The discipline of history lets me do that. […] Nothing gives you the full scope of human life the way that history does.
Q: If you could go back in time to any time period, where would you want to go and why?
A: I would go to the 1920’s. […] There’s movement, there’s communication […] and there’s something like real medicine happening. So, you’re not just going to die right away – which is important. If you go too far back, the chances of survival go way down. And I think the 1920’s were amazing culturally and it would be a fun time to be alive, to experience in person, in the moment.
Q: So far, what do you enjoy most about teaching at Blue Mountain College?
A: I love the material that I get to teach. I love that I get to teach Western Civ and American History and American Government. I love that. I can’t believe that I get to do those things. And the students here are great – it’s so fun to come to class, even at 8am […] and have real discussions. That’s what I love. And I like to see the students learn. It’s encouraging to see that.