Bluffton, Indiana, was nicknamed “The Parlor City” over a century ago because its paved streets (a new phenomenon at the time) made the city “as clean as your parlor."
15 minutes with David Beer
David, when did you graduate from Bluffton High School?
Your received obtained a teaching position at Malone College. What was your educational path from Bluffton HS to Malone?
Malone actually changed its name to Malone University a few years ago.
I graduated from Georgetown University in 2007 with a A.B. in Government and started graduate work in Political Theory at Catholic University of America the next Fall. I earned the M.A. in 2009 and I just defended my dissertation on the political theology of St. Augustine this Spring.
I understand your mother, Deb, is a Malone grad. Does working at Malone make her life complete?
I think she was more excited that I didn't join the growing ranks of unemployed Ph.D.s, but since I'm teaching there she has agreed to consider forgiving them for changing the name from college to university. Malone has grown a lot since Mom graduated so I'm really looking forward to walking around campus with her and seeing what she still recognizes.
What's your most frequent way to communicate with friends via social media? What are all the methods you use?
I don't use any form of social media because my random thoughts aren't worth broadcasting to the world. I don't even have a Facebook account because I've seen so many of my classmates and students waste so much time on it. Email suits me just fine.
What publications are you reading these days?
Currently I'm working on some preparation for a new class next Fall, so I'm re-reading Immanuel Kant and Nietzsche. I'm also working on an edited manuscript of the writings of the late Canadian classicist Charles Norris Cochrane for publication.
Tell me all about your eighth grade science project.
I followed the time honored tradition of getting interested in something my dad thought would be a good idea, so I studied random number generation in computers. I basically had a computer spit out a whole bunch of random numbers between 2 and 12 and compared them to the same quantity that I generated by rolling a pair of dice thousands of times. It was actually a lot more interesting than it sounds right now, and I got to take the project all the way to the state science fair.
What car did you use to take your driving test in?
I took the drivers test in a Saturn SL2 which was a very small car and quite suitable for passing the infamous cone test. Thankfully, I wasn't required to parallel park.
Tell me about your family.
My wife, Elizabeth (n'ee Fricke), and I have two girls: Rose is 21 months and Julia is 2 months.
Have your bumped into anyone from Bluffton recently?
I was actually quite surprised to find out that Jene Sommers, a student in my American Politics course this Spring was from Bluffton. She graduated in BHS in 2011.
What type of music are you listening to at the moment? How do you purchase your music?
I have to say that my iTunes playlist is rapidly filling with incredibly irritating children's songs of late, but generally we purchase our music by download from iTunes or Amazon.
Can you recall who you sat beside in the first grade? Can you even remember your first grade teacher? Does anything stand out from first grade?
I'm really quite amazed that anyone is able to remember who they sat next to in the first grade. I had Mrs. Lortz for the first grade and looking back I'm pretty sure they packed her class with all the most rambunctious kids. So the only thing that stands out is getting disciplined an awful lot for talking when we were supposed to be silent.
Twenty years from now what type of vehicle do you think you'll be driving?
I'm fairly confident that in 20 years that there will still be a mode of transportation that will get ma from point A to point B, so haven't really given it any thought. I suppose I could daydream about a flying car, but really, how well did that work out for your generation?
What's your favorite coffee?
I enjoy French roasted coffee beans brewed in a coffee press. However, don't imagine that I'm a coffee aficionado because I then completely adulterate it with excessive amounts of half-half and sugar. I didn't really even drink coffee through college, but its a matter of necessity in graduate school.