Joe Wallace teaches history.
How did you decide to become a history teacher?
I had a series of really great history teachers, but I had an unorthodox track to teaching. I practiced law for a couple years, and I really like the research part of that. I wanted to put together the research, the brainy part, with the teaching part.
As a teacher at St. John’s, what do you want to accomplish?
When you read a book, it can change your perspective. It’s amazing how that happens. I want my students to eventually feel that way about my class, and I want them to feel more prepared for the world. This is a fast evolving world that in some ways can be unforgiving, but it can also have a lot of opportunity embedded within the sequence of the history that we are living in. I just want to prepare people and also want them to feel that they were exposed to a kind of world history that they didn’t get before.
Do you have any hobbies?
Whenever my wife and I go on vacation, we tend to pick places that have a lot of historical tours, especially ghost tours. These ghost tours are a lot for the historian to take. They want you to suspend disbelief and suspend your critical thought for a while, and you just hear these crazy legends. Later you start to think, well, maybe all the legends have a little kernel of truth. I think I’m just addicted to stories, and I like how the fantasy side of the legends and myths of different locations are tied to real history.