After 37 years at the UW, Professor Craig ZumBrunnen is retiring at the end of Spring, 2014. Craig has taught classes in Physical Geography, the Soviet Union, post-Soviet Russia, environmental management and resource analysis. A few of his reflections on the beginning and end of his teaching at the UW:
It seems only a few weeks ago that I was driving our well-traveled 1971 Volvo station wagon along I-90 past Gilman Village in Issaquah, turning off to drive along West Sammamish Parkway to see how ready our new house in south Redmond was for the scheduled arrival on July 10, 1977, of the moving van from Columbus, Ohio and The Ohio State University! And now already 37 years later, there are so many wonderful memories that I dare not really even begin to write them down, for concern that if I got started, I might well spend years recalling and describing them and miss out on a host of yet unknown adventures I could be exploring in my Emeritus years. But, I do want to share just a few career “bookends” and a couple of mid-book chapters notes. On both my first teaching day in September 1977 and my last class day June 4, 2014. I journeyed across the 520 bridge, but there have been a few changes. In September 1977, I was driving my Volvo to campus and there was a long tollbooth backup, an accident on the bridge, and ouch, my class was an 8:30 AM! Whew, I just made it in time and there was chalk available for the blackboard, lucky for me as I had no time to get to my office for an overhead projector and transparencies! Then, on that last teaching day as a UW faculty instructor, June 4, 2014, I parked my Prius and boarded my now usual Metro 271 bus, soon becoming engaged in my recent daily routine of observing the progress on the construction of the new 520 bridge. Instead of the class being “lectured to” by me, they were engaged in active learning and sharing group reports and policy perspectives and recommendations for dealing with climate change. What better way to end this note, than with events of the first day and the last day, I know not? Accordingly, June 6, 2014, the very last day of my tenure as a Professor at the UW, was also one of my most inspiring days as I got to bear witness to the wonderful quality of both our students and the educational and training they are receiving from my colleagues. So I formally disembark, knowing the threads of knowledge and means of inquiry are many and varied, the geographies studied far more international as well as local, students and faculty far more diverse, thus much more representative of the actual world we geographers live and work in than when I embarked. Thus, I disembark with the warm and confident feeling that the scholarship of Geography at UW is dynamically on course for a future of continued rich and meaningful journeys of discovery and exploration, and yes, even as yet some unknown praxis.