Humans of Saint Martin's: David Price, Ph.D.
Through this experience, I learned that sometimes you end up going in a direction that’s not the one you want. It may seem like a complete setback, but sometimes it leads you down a path that’s better than the one you originally had in mind.
- David Price, Ph.D.
- College of Arts and Sciences Chair
- Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
I did not like high school. It wasn’t for me. I barely got through it, and I knew maybe someday, I would go to college, but I knew I didn’t want to go right away because I was burnt out. I was a reader, though. I liked to read, but I wasn’t a writer. Honestly, I didn’t really learn how to write until I was an undergraduate. I entered college with some real writing challenges. I never really learned how to spell either – I still can’t – but now I have robots to help me out, so now I write books and articles. In hindsight, what I did after high school was a really smart thing. I know at first, my parents were kind of like, “Really? You’re not going to college?” but they eventually supported me. So, I moved to Vancouver, Washington from rural Oregon in 1978, right out of high school, and found a job at this really cool, small bakery. The person who ran it was Lebanese American, and we made these really great Middle Eastern spinach pies and pocket bread and all this great stuff! There, I learned how to bake. I still bake, and I love to bake. I love teaching, but I wouldn’t mind going back to baking. It was a good job. One of the things I liked about it was the fact that the man who owned the bakery had been a professional radio announcer for classical music, and we listened to classical music all day. He would lecture to us and tell us the history of music. I played piano for about 12 years, so I had a pretty good classical background, but this experience sort of brought it to the next level.
Right around New Years of that year after high school, I was ice climbing. When I was young, I was a serious backpacker and Mountaineer, so I've climbed many of the Cascade volcanoes. Anyway, I was out climbing, and I had a bad fall that broke my arm. This was really bad timing because I had only been working for maybe five or six months; I didn’t have a lot of money saved up. I was trying to make it out on my own and didn’t want to go to my parents for help. I was very determined to be independent, but because I broke my arm, I couldn’t work. It was a very cold winter, and I couldn’t afford to heat my apartment all day, sitting around with a broken arm, so I started going to the library, where I could keep warm. I had been a reader before, but this was different. It probably took six or seven weeks before my arm was healed enough to go back to work, and in those six or seven weeks, I did so much reading. I would read a book or two a day in the library. This had a big impact on me because I had a bunch of friends who were in college, and back in the old days before the Internet, I used to write them letters/postcards. They would write back, telling me what books they were reading. So, I thought to myself, “I don’t have anything better to do,” so I would sit down and read all the books my friends would tell me about. I read a lot of classic fiction because I didn’t have a very good high school education – the history classes were taught by the coach – so we never actually learned anything, or what we did learn was wrong. People would talk about historical figures whom I had no idea about, so again, I would find books about these historical figures and sit down and read them all day. This was really formative because later on, when I decided to go to college, my professors would talk about certain topics or novelists that I otherwise would have never known about if I hadn’t spent all that time beforehand reading up on them. Through this experience, I learned that sometimes you end up going in a direction that’s not the one you want. It may seem like a complete setback, but sometimes it leads you down a path that’s better than the one you originally had in mind. Breaking my arm when I barely had enough money to support myself was definitely not in my plan at the time, but it turned out to be one of the best things that could have ever happened to me.
The sociology and cultural anthropology program at Saint Martin's University provides students with unique opportunities to study contemporary American society and a wide range of cultures in the classroom, in surrounding communities, and in cooperation with campus study abroad programs around the world. The program demonstrates a strong focus on student-centered research.
- Main (Lacey)
- Type of Instruction
- In Person
- Bachelor of Arts