Getting to Know You: Blake Westerlund

Favorite movie: “The Royal Tenenbaums”

Favorite band: Old 97s

Favorite song: Last Thursday: “Young Pilgrim” by the Shins

Favorite book: “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte

Favorite sport: Swimming

Favorite show/sitcom: “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

Favorite animal/pet: Dogs. I have two Westies: Masie and Stuart

Living or dead, who would you like to meet: Cormack McCarthy or Emily Bronte

Worst excuse you’ve ever heard: Typically, when I hear excuses, it’s something tragic.

Something students do that annoys you: Nothing. They accept my quirks, so I can’t complain.

Guilty pleasure: Thursday night watching “Alias.” I’m still devoted to that show. I don’t even want to know why.

Worst fear: That as a culture we continue to rely on violence

Minnesota or Wisconsin: Minnesota. (I was) born in Rochester.

If you won the lottery: I would like to see the world and expand my book and CD collection.

Class you recommend to students: Any English class (because) there is a wide variety of topics.

Quote to live by: “Follow your bliss.” – Joseph Campbell

What did you want to be as a kid: A dog catcher because I loved dogs, but then I found out what happened to ones that don’t get picked up.

When you get home from work, what’s the first thing you usually do: I walk the dog, and I enjoy that very much.

Weirdest experience as a teacher: (When teaching an English as a Second Language course), once I had a student approached me and ask me if I had a gun. … That question caught me off guard. I usually answer questions like, ‘Do I need a comma?’

Most rewarding experience as a teacher: I really like what I do … on a weekly basis, being a witness to success.

Craziest college student story: I was a bookworm. Nothing says life on the edge like a bookworm.

Words of wisdom for students to excel in school: Try to take professors that are passionate and challenging.

One word that best describes you: Optimistic

According to professor ratings Web sites, you have received an A and 4.9 (out of five) and were also voted best professor on The Spectator’s Best of Eau Claire survey. Why do you think that is?: I think part of it is the environment (in the classroom). I like seeing my students … I have colleagues that give a lot of support … I have a good eye for potential … I like going to work and hope students are the same way.

Getting to Know You is a weekly feature on Mondays compiled by the Showcase editors and various professors at UW-Eau Claire.