Meet your professor: Bob Barth


Emily Albrent: If you could meet anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Bob Barth: George Washington, because without him we would not have the country we have today. He could have been a dictator twice, but each time he simply went home instead. When he had the time to seize power he didn’t. He set the tone; I kind of admire him for that.

EA: What is your craziest college memory?

BB: I was sitting in a professor’s office when a dope buy that he had orcastated ha fallen apart. I was sitting there talking to him and the phone rang and he said to the person on the other end, “Really? Aw, that’s too bad, maybe some
other time.”

Then he hung up and said to me, “excuse me for a minute” and he went to the door and yelled down the hall way, “It’s off.” Then I hear someone from down the hallway say, “Oh s–t” and during the next 15 or so minutes people would show up at his office and he would reach into his desk and give them their money back.

EA: What is the weirdest thing a student has done in one of your classes?

BB: Early in my career here I had two students come up to me after class and tried to hand me what was left of a bag of marijuana and what they said was, ‘here, it looks like you could use this.’ I didn’t take it of course. That was kind
of interesting.

Another crazy moment was the student who came in with his collar turned up and sunglasses on because he didn’t want to be recognized because two guys were looking for him to
beat him up.

I used to have two guys that got stoned for class. They were pretty mellow. They sat in the back and smiled.

EA: If you weren’t an anthropology professor, what would you want to be?

BB: I would want to be a welder. It’s something that I have always wanted to try, it always sounded like an interesting job and it’s a skill you can apply anywhere.

I don’t know if I could do an office job, I don’t like people telling me what to do. I need to do something where I can be semi-independent, I need to be my own person.

You can work on cars, you can do all kind of stuff, you always need welders.

EA: What was the best job you have ever had in anthropology?

BB: My best job in archeology was doing environmental impact surveys, that’s what I really like to do because you get to go lot’s of different places. It’s interesting, they are all different. You get out in the field, you get to meet people; it’s really nice.