Professor interview: Keith Graber-Miller

David Jantz

Funnies Editor

dljantz@goshen.edu

Keith and his family dress up to celebrate a particularly satisfying bowel movement. Photo contributed by Kieth Graber Miller.

Keith and his family dress up to celebrate a particularly satisfying bowel movement.
Photo contributed by Kieth Graber Miller.

This article represents a momentous occasion. In a rare, nay, unprecedented effort, this week I summoned my resolve to do an actual interview for the Funnies page, rather than simply spewing forth my barbaric yawp into somewhat grammatically correct and properly indented format. The theme of the interview is poop. After all, as a wise and good-looking Funnies editor once said, “Few things are funnier than feces.”

How do you feel your relationship with poop is going?

We are getting along swimmingly. I’m obnoxiously regular, so much so that when I worked in construction during a semester-long break from college after my sophomore year, my regularity drove my brother-in-law crazy. He was always crapping in an old nail box at some point during the day and finally asked why I didn’t. “I poop every morning before I come to work,” I said. His response is what drove me back into academia.

How often do you “bomb the bowl,” so to speak?

Perhaps more so than is normal, but rarely during the day.

What is your favorite part about going to the bathroom?

Purging waste is always good. I’m all about order and cleanliness. A bit anal, you might say. Joe Liechty says that about me a lot.

Do you name your stools? If so, what? If not, why not?

People name their stools? I’d be reticent to do so since it would be such a short relationship…and so many names to come up with. If I did, I’d probably have to name them after students since I have such a long list of them. And something seems wrong with that. Can you imagine me saying, “Sheesh, I’ve really had the Davids all week.” I’d never be able to look you in the eye again.

How often do you discuss feces with students?

Well, today would be one time. Other than that, only on SST, when we talk about irregular and regular feces regularly…and irregularly. And occasionally in other courses the topic emerges between the cracks.

My favorite word for poop is “feculence.” What’s yours?

I’m pretty fond of excrement.

Does the Bible offer any guidance in fecal matters?

Lots. Hebrew Scriptures have a lot to say about all bodily excretions. Jesus doesn’t seem to worry much about fecal matters, though much of the later Christian tradition’s eschatology could better be described as scatology.

Will mention of this interview feature prominently in your resume? It does, after all, demonstrate that you are a well-rounded professor with expertise beyond such dull topics as religion or sexuality.

I suspect so. My C.V. could use a little dung-charge at this stage in my academic career.

Would you like to take this opportunity to talk crap about any of your fellow professors?

I would never stoop to defecation of character. Especially for my colleagues.

What is the single best piece of advice you can give our readership about bowel movements?

Have them, love them and flush them.

Any last thoughts?

I’m hoping most people think you just made this all up.

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