The pro­fessors make Hillsdale College great. Pro­fessors can give stu­dents a fresh per­spective on what classes they can take and the uniquely inter­esting aspects of each class. Pro­fessors Mack, Whalen, and Tacke all love their fields of interest and long to see stu­dents expe­rience that same joy.

Todd Mack (Courtesy)

Todd Mack – Assistant Professor of Spanish

What is your favorite class to teach and why?That’s a really hard question to answer. I love teaching the lan­guage classes because I think it’s amazing to see someone learn how to speak a lan­guage. There’s some­thing super grat­i­fying in giving someone that ability.

Teaching lit­er­ature is probably my favorite thing to do. I love teaching the stu­dents about Spain and Spanish lit­er­ature, and about them­selves and the way they see the world. Spanish 493 is a pretty fun class. Spanish 493 is built like a seminar, and this semester I’m teaching the class on the Con­tem­porary Novel of Spain. We all just come to class and talk about great, big ideas.

What do you love most about teaching at Hillsdale?
The stu­dents are just great here. I love teaching stu­dents that really want to learn. But another thing that I really love about teaching at Hillsdale is that I love the mission of Hillsdale College. I love this idea of searching for beauty, truth, and goodness. It is amazing that here at Hillsdale, we believe those things exist, and that we are capable as humans of iden­ti­fying those things and attaining them. We get into these philo­sophical and ethical debates in Spanish 493, and ask what is true, good, and beau­tiful in the lit­er­ature that we read. I can’t imagine being any­where else than at Hillsdale College because you don’t get that kind of freedom in other places.

Benedict Whalen (Courtesy)

Benedict Whalen – Assistant Professor of English

What is your favorite class to teach and why?
I would have to say that any class which I am teaching during the moment is my favorite class. I gen­uinely love all of the books that my classes study, and I love the dis­cussion of these books that happens in the classroom. But if I were forced to choose, I would say English 320, which studies Renais­sance British Lit­er­ature from 1500 to about 1660. Thomas Moore, Shake­speare, and Milton – such great works.

What do you love most about teaching at Hillsdale?
It would have to be the con­ver­sa­tions that happen in the classroom. I enjoy preparing for class. Grading can be a bit of a chore, but I really love being in the classroom and diving into the text with stu­dents.

Daniel Tacke (Courtesy)

Daniel Tacke – Associate Professor of Music

What is your favorite class to teach and why?
I teach a lot of dif­ferent things, and I’m pulled in a lot of dif­ferent direc­tions. If I had to pick, the advanced theory courses are a lot of fun– Theory III and advanced topics beyond Theory III. You know, when you get to the point where you’ve put in the time and gone over the rudi­mentary things and can actually get to a point where you use that on an indi­vidual level to under­stand music and how it’s working. The advanced theory courses teach the indi­vidual own­ership of those ideas as tools for getting to the bottom of music and how it works. There’s much more of a dia­logue going on about what we are doing and less transfer of infor­mation. And that’s a lot of fun.

What do you love most about teaching at Hillsdale?
All the things I was just describing, and the fact that I get to do that. I’ve taught at a variety of places, including con­ser­va­tories, and insti­tu­tions pre­tending to be con­ser­va­tories, and teaching at those places is much more like checking off a box – you’ve done this class, and this class, now you can go practice your instrument. Around here, people study music because they’re fas­ci­nated by it and want to know more about it. That’s a very dif­ferent kind of expe­rience as a teacher, and it’s quite won­derful.