Meet Tom Tierney
Professor Tom Tierney
Dr. Tom Tierney is Director of the Humanities Institute & Professor of English in the Department of Language and Humanities
In my over three decades at Trine, I have played ping pong, tennis, basketball, bike–raced, shot free throws and played pool with my students, all with various degrees of unsuccess, except maybe the latter.
Over the years, Roberta and I have enjoyed fine dining with my Shakespeare and 18th–century literature students in the Wells Gallery, at meals we have all had a hand in preparing. Often the Trines are our special guests.
I, and I hope my students, have many fond memories of all these outside–the–classroom experiences together, but what keeps me coming back is the exercise we get in the classroom, stretching exercises for the mind if you will, when we play in the field of ideas, when we hypothesize, speculate, assert, support our ideas with information from good sources, argue, agree and disagree, and try to sort out the motivations of and understand that unwieldy creature E.E. Cummings calls “manunkind.”
To make my classroom team, you’ve got to learn the rules of the game, you’ve got to practice (do your homework), and you’ve got to want to participate, to risk making a fool of yourself (which we all succeed in doing at one time or another) by asking a question or offering an answer.
In the messages I get from students past (alumni, we call them) a theme emerges: what went on in the classroom and what they learned in preparing for those classes, those were the things that had a lasting impact on their lives and their careers — even if they didn’t like me much at the time.