Lancers’ Lives: Living the dream at PCC

Anastasia Afanasieva/Courier Professor James Click in his office in the C-building on June 12, 2017.

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James Click is an English professor at PCC, who has been teaching here for eight years. Click focuses on rhetoric and philosophy in each of his classes. Ever since he studied at PCC it has been his dream to come back and teach here. Click is a passionate professor who is in love with his job and plans to stay here for the foreseeable future.   

“I first decided to become a teacher when I was a student here at PCC. When I came to PCC I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, so I thought: ‘Ok, let’s go to school’. When I started taking English classes I had a couple of professors. It just looked like a cool job the way they were going about what they were doing, coming in talking about cool ideas. I didn’t realize all the paper grading, to me it just looked like a really great job to have. So I thought I could probably do that. So that’s kind of where it started.

“It was always like the dream. When I first decided to become a teacher coming back here was sort of my ideal. Like ‘my dream job’ kind of an idea. This is the end of my fifth year as a full-time professor. So I taught three years part-time and five years full-time.

“When I came here to PCC, I was a philosophy major and philosophy was always my first love. And I took a couple philosophy classes and it was just boring. I hated it. It was just textbook and reading about Plato or Aristotle. Not actually getting into their books. And then I took a couple of English classes and we actually were assigned the actual books. The conversations in the English classes were so much more interesting. I also liked how you could read a philosophy book and a literature book in the same class and you could kind of connect them.

“[In English] you can kind of talk about anything. You teach writing but then it’s all about ideas. It’s not about specific types of ideas or types of books. That keeps me kind of excited and interested.

“Music is my other love. I play guitar and a little bit of piano and something called a melodica [wind piano]. So music has always been a really important part of my life and kind of rescued me when I was younger. I spend a lot of my free time working on music and I collect guitars. I have two things in my life that I devote the best of myself to: one is this job and the other one is music.

“Ninety percent of what inspires me are the students. Students always talk first. I might have a point to make and somebody raises their hand, I make a point of just saying ‘you talk’ instead of just me. I’ve really made an effort to be somebody who realizes that my place in the classroom isn’t at the center.

“This is my dream job. I think it’s better than I imagined. I still have moments where I can’t believe that I stumbled my way into this great career. I thought I would never find something that I would want to stick with. I can’t imagine doing anything else. Perfect job for me that fits my skills and my ability to connect with people and keeps me happy and interested. I can tell you from experience that doing something that you love or getting your dream job is a great thing. It’s not like in the movies where somebody get something what they want and that’s the end of the movie. There’s always the day after and life happens.”

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