BELFAST, Maine — Robert Klose, author of “The Three-Legged Woman & Other Excursions in Teaching,” will talk about his work at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, at the Belfast Free Library, 106 High St. His book offers the insights of one professor and writer’s experience teaching at “the poorest college in America.”
Since 1986, Klose has taught biology at University College of Bangor, the most recent name of the small college located on a former military base first called the South Campus of the University of Maine — or SCUM — and later Penobscot Valley Community College and Bangor Community College. Despite its improved nomenclature, University College of Bangor remains an open-admissions environment at which “one never knows what’s going to come in over the transom.” Klose’s nontraditional students have included, in addition to single parents and veterans, the homeless, the abused, ex-cons and even a murderer (who was otherwise “a very nice person”).
Chronicling his experiences teaching these diverse students, Klose describes with equal doses of care and wry wit those who are profoundly unfit for college, their often inadequate command of the lingua franca and the alacrity with which they seize upon the paranormal (the three-legged woman) while expressing skepticism about mainstream science. He reflects on the decline of reading for enjoyment and the folly of regarding email as a praiseworthy substitute for expository writing.
Klose, who lives in Orono, is a longtime contributor of essays to The Christian Science Monitor. Besides his newly-released book, he is the author of two previous books: “Adopting Alyosha — a Single Man Finds a Son in Russia”; and “Small Worlds — Adopted Sons, Pet Piranhas & Other Mortal Concerns.” His work also has appeared in Newsweek, The Boston Globe, Reader’s Digest, Exquisite Corpse and elsewhere. He is a four-time winner of the Maine Press Association’s annual award for opinion writing.
This program is free and open to the public. For more information, call the library at 338-3884 ext 10.