Meet the Deltans

Meet William C. Johnson

Meet William C. Johnson

William (Bil) Johnson is the Executive Director of Sigma Tau Delta and NEHS. By the time he left high school Bil knew he wanted to teach—but he didn’t know what subject. And so his University of Chicago undergraduate days saw him as a member of the “Major a Month Club.” He dug Botany. He pondered Philosophy. In Art, he drew upon life. His spirit was lifted in Theology. Yet all of those disciplines led him to English, the “real” study of which takes in—well—everything. The reward of all those studies was the elation that came in teaching incredibly complex authors, and sharing his own joy in relating literature to life, and life to literature.

  1. My favorite movie is A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999—with Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, et. al.).
  2. I never leave the house without buttoning all the buttons; zipping all the zippers; and putting on my shoes.
  3. If I had to eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be nuts. Any kind. Shelled or unshelled; salted or not; toasted or raw.
  4. Growing up, I was sure I would be eternal.
  5. I know every word to the song “Maria,” by Johnny Mathis.
  6. The best gift I’ve ever received was when I was 4—my very own, child-sized chair.
  7. My nickname in high school was Teddy (too complicated to explain that one).
  8. If you find me in the kitchen, I’m typically whipping up nothing. I NUKE everything.
  9. I’m more of a reader than a writer.
  10. The best paper title I ever created was In Vino et in Amore Veritas: Transformational Animation in Herrick’s Sack Poems.”
  11. The literary place I’d most like to visit is Oxford’s Bodleian Library.
  12. My dream job is leading students through Paradise Lost, Book II.
  13. An author I truly admire is George Herbert.
  14. My go-to children’s book is E.  B. White’s Charlotte’s Web.
  15. The destination at the top of my travel bucket list is Nova Scotia, CAN, in autumn.
  16. My favorite part of being an English Major is being able to participate freely with our beautifully fluid language.
  17. The last book I read was Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow.
  18. My favorite books are Charles Todd’s Ian Rutledge mysteries.
  19. My favorite bookstore/place to buy books is Blackwell’s (Oxford).
  20. In 10 years, I’m betting that the English major will be reduced in numbers but stronger, with passionate intensity.
  21. My first job was horrible! I assembled french fry baskets.
  22. The last book I bought was Sylvia Boorstein’s Don’t Just Do Something; Sit There but I have not yet read it.
  23. The celebrity I’d most like to spend a day with is Renée Fleming.
  24. If I could move anywhere in the world, I’d live on New Zealand’s South Island.
  25. My Hogwarts House is Gryffindor!

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