10 questions with

Hamid Rafizadeh

Hamid RafizadehWhat is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
My favorite thing about being a teacher is learning and teaching at the same time. It is important for a teacher to be aware of the different forms of knowledge each individual student brings to the class and what they can learn from that student while helping them to excel in other ways.

What age were you when you first discovered that you wanted to be a teacher?
When I was around six years old I wanted to be a music teacher. I loved teaching songs to my younger sisters and putting together what I thought were new songs. Teaching engineering and business came years later when I saw the value of business principles for daily life. My interest in music remains but my skills have remained at the six-year-old level.

What is your favorite subject to teach, and why?
My favorite subject is the Sermon on the Mount. It is a complete recipe for setting up social structure and business operations. I bring the Sermon on the Mount into a number of my courses in the form of case studies, and almost all students react positively toward learning a view of the Sermon on the Mount relevant to the business world.

Where is your favorite place/ season/ event on Bluffton's campus?
I don't really have a favorite place, season or event to mention... I see activities at Bluffton as a way to make the collective stand out, rather than individual activities.

Who were your favorite teachers in high school and middle school?
I do not really remember any of my teachers anymore, but I do recall a unique field trip I went on. It was a bicycle ride at night in the full moonlight. Riding a bicycle on a dirt road in moonlight was utterly different than doing the same in daytime. Why did the teacher choose to take students out at night in full moon to see the open landscape I will never know.

What do you do in your free time?
I primarily think and dream. Outside of that, I play tennis regularly and whenever my schedule allows I visit small villages in France and Italy where patterns of life centuries and millennia old have been captured in beautiful designs and colors.

What was the first job you ever had?
My first was a summer job working from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week in a corn field in Oregon. I was the only employee and my job was to water a small corn field manually. There were a series of pipes that I would move across the length of the field connect them together and then water for a set time.

What kinds of activities did you participate in when you attended college?
Coming from Iran I missed the first term. So, I always had to take more courses in order to complete my engineering degree in four years. I also had to do so without taking any summer courses as I had to work summers to pay for my college expenses. This kept me busy with two things, first studying and second staying physically active which I managed by taking one to two physical education courses every term and playing tennis and football with friends in the evenings.

Where is somewhere that you would like to visit?
I would like to visit the Stonehenge in England and pyramids in Egypt. These structures have survived for thousands of years, and I believe seeing them with my own eyes would be a novel experience. Why have I not visited them yet, you ask? Because there is no Saks 5th Avenue store at these sites and that is one absolute requirement of my wife when visiting any place!

What is your 'bucket list', or a couple things you would like to do before you die?
At the top of my bucket list is to come up with something that would make a radical difference in how the world views peace and nonviolence. It is a very difficult item to achieve and it has been on my list for decades. Perhaps Bluffton and its environment will make it easier to achieve it.