Qwanty is right--when one thinks about Peter, there are almost too many things to say. He's a strange, and complicated, guy. In that way (and probably in that way only) he is like my dad. To those of you who don't know (and who doesn't?), Peter is my favorite teacher I have ever had in my whole life. Ever. In my whole life. And I've had a lot of teachers and I've been really into a lot of them, but none come near to the almost mythical standing of Peter. (Not even Doc B)
Here are some interesting things about Peter:
1. He really likes the phrase "will-he-nil-he" which, for those of you who don't speak "peter", is willy-nilly. Even though he knows that people will be put off by this, he refuses to use the colloquial version of the saying, either in his writing or speaking. He's stubborn like that.
2. He referred me to his therapist. And I went. He also referred Qwanty to his wife's hairdresser. I don't think that she went. He believes that he can be that intrustive into certain student's lives. I guess maybe he can be.
3. Sometimes for Valentine's Day I make homemade fortune cookies and write out little haiku to stuff inside them. One year, I made one for Peter. The haiku was especially mushy. This should not surprise anyone. Several months later I was sitting in office (probably crying, because that is mostly what I did in his office), feeling uncomfortable because I realized that he had a weird naked woman fertility talisman statue on his desk. I kept trying not to stare at it, because it was such a weird thing to see there. At some point he mentioned the Valentine, and I sort of shrugged it off, but he reached FOR THE WEIRD NAKED WOMAN FERTILITY TALISMAN (at this point I wanted to run screaming from his office) and he showed me that it had a little box in the base and inside that box was the little slip of paper on which I'd written the hakiu. To this day I don't know if this is the sweetest memory I have of him, or the creepiest.
4. Peter, as of a few years ago, only considered me the 7th smartest student he'd ever had. Um. 7th? Talk about your faint praise.
5. I have seen Peter throw an eraser at a student. I also saw him throw chalk at the same student. I have also heard him ask another student, in complete seriousness, "who put you in charge of the obvious today?"
6. One of Peter's greatest friends in the world is a fairly well-known academic who writes like an angel. His prose is so conciliatory and has such a reasonable tone. Peter's writing is,well, cranky and scrappy. It is fun to read them back to back. One wonders what their friendship must be like.
7. Peter likes to eat. A lot. Let him take you out to lunch sometime. You only eat at nice resturants, and you can order whatever you like, and he forces wine on you. (And sometimes dessert as well.) He once told me that the only food he thinks that he doesn't like is cucumber. Cucumber?
I'm sure Qwanty has her own factoids about PC that she might like to share, but these are my favorites---