These are definitely exciting times here at Empower Magazine with the addition of our very own Music and Film Critic, Dr. William Hobbs, an assistant professor at Florida Memorial University. Dr. Hobbs shares a good measure of his insightful wit in a recent Q&A session with the EM Editor-in-Chief.1. What do you enjoy most about living in Florida and serving on the faculty at Florida Memorial University (FMU)?
With Fort Lauderdale being my home, there’s that sense of nostalgia and familiarity. There’s that eternal high school crush for palm trees, the beach and the accents of people coming from all over the world. It is also interesting to take in all this sunshine and energy as an adult as opposed to an oversensitive boy that read everything in the house and idolized Prince and Clubber Lang in the 70’s-80’s.
Serving on the faculty at FMU fulfills my need to inspire young minds. The fact that it is within a Historically Black College & University (HBCU) setting is all the more gratifying. Nothing is better than seeing that spark of inspiration ignite in the eyes of someone just beginning to realize life is to be determined by decisions more so than circumstance.
2. What is your position at FMU? And, what is your philosophy on effectively impacting the lives of your students?
I am an assistant professor in the English department. I teach a variety of courses ranging from College Writing 101 to Shakespeare to Exploring Black Masculinity in Literature. I am also advisor to Chapter 3, the university’s premiere poetry troupe.
My philosophy is typified in a saying I use at the start of all of my courses: “Those who work for a paycheck are meaningless. It is those who work for a cause that matter.” This sets forth the understanding that I do not teach solely to pay the bills, that I do this as an extension of my soul, my need to contribute to society. With that being the case it behooves the student to not approach classwork and the like with some lazy question as to whether the work is for a grade. It helps them recognize that all that I offer them is a means to attain knowledge and wisdom that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
3. What do you get the greatest joy out of in life?
4. Do you have any hobbies and leisure time activities that you would like to share with the EM readers?
Aside from writing (novels, poetry, commentary), film-making, graphic arts, mixed martial arts and playing guitar.
5. Do you have a bucket list? If so, what is at the top of the list?
Now that’s a question. Yes, everybody should have a bucket list. I suppose mine would be taking my renaissance man status to a level where my endeavors are truly fluid as well as successful. I would like to be the next Gordon Parks you could say, or, perhaps the next MK Asante!
6. Based on your life experiences, what are some specific areas that you believe you have gained the highest degree of insight, experience and expertise in?
Mentoring and various forms of creative writing.
7. Is there anything else you would like the EM readers to know about you?
I am playful! People are constantly floored by it. Many say I missed my calling as an actor/comedian; I insult people with my humor and they enjoy it. They have this idea that everyone with a doctorate is stiff, hopelessly theoretical and full of themselves. I operate by a different script, one I write and revise each and every day.
Up Close And Personal with Dr. William Hobbs (EM Music and Film Critic)