Dan Berger

Why do you enjoy teaching at Bluffton? What makes it unique?

The thing that makes it unique is that the students take the college mission statement seriously. I like the students and get along with them. It is a friendly and open place.

What excites you about chemistry education?
It's the thing that excites any teacher: the moments where the light bulb comes on for students. I get to play with glassware and make stinky stuff that blows up. I enjoy doing demonstrations because they are always fun.Dr. Daniel Berger

I knew I was destined to teach chemistry when...
In high school I did a couple of independent projects for chemistry class and I had a lot of fun with it. Part of the project was explaining it to classmates. I had fun doing that. Now I try to set up situations in which students are helping to teach each other.

My favorite class to teach...
is the one in which the students are most involved and responsive. The same class can be more fun to teach from one year to the next. It depends on the students.

When I'm not teaching I enjoy...
reading books about history, theology, science fiction. I am an assistant scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts. My son used to be involved in Boy Scouts. After he gave it up I figured that didn't mean I had to give it up as well. I've done a little HTML and Flash design. I like to cook; that's a major hobby of mine. I have a few dishes I do especially well, such as my lasagna which is based on my spaghetti sauce. I also do a few Indian-style recipes.

My favorite high school teacher was...
The teacher I most looked up to was Mr. Anderson, who taught biology. The thing that impressed me the most was when he taught physics. Nobody else wanted to teach physics but there were a few students who wanted to take it. He taught it even though he was a biologist, and said, "My goal is to stay ahead of the class."

My first job was...
picking rock. This involved going through fields after winter to remove the rocks that had surfaced, so that the farming equipment would not get damaged later in the year.

As a college student, I was involved in...
concert choir, campus newspaper, opera workshop and theater.

Favorite vacation destination/activity...
My favorite vacation activity is going to new and interesting restaurants.

Someday I would like to...
I'd like to skydive, or get a degree in history. I'm a history buff. I enjoy topics such as history of science and technology, the history of ideas, and military history – especially the Civil War and World War II.