Last semester, Oklahoma Wesleyan University welcomed Dr. Sarah Petrovic to the faculty. This semester, OKWU also has the pleasure of welcoming her husband, Dr. Paul Petrovic.
Dr. Petrovic and Dr. Petrovic came to us from DeKalb, IL, where they met and both completed their Ph.Ds at Northern Illinois University. Sarah also mentioned this is where she received her “Mrs.” Degree.
At OKWU, he teaches Developmental English, Introduction to Communication (with a Media focus) and Script Writing and she teaches Composition, Literature, and Film.
Recently, the OKWUeagle staff caught up with the Petrovics:
OKWUeagle: What brought you to OKWU?
S. Petrovic: I very much feel God’s leading and blessing at work in bringing me to OKWU. I always knew that I wanted to teach at a Christian liberal arts school, so I was excited to apply for and get a job at OKWU so soon after finishing my graduate work. Also, compared to the extreme cold weather and heaps of snow typical in northern Illinois, being in Oklahoma is icing on the cake!
P. Petrovic: …I tagged along and did some adjunct work at the University of Tulsa last semester [before teaching at OKWU].
OKWUeagle: What is your favorite thing about teaching?
P. Petrovic: Seeing students excited to discuss the material as they engage it, argue with it, and respond to it. And nothing is more satisfying than reading a well-reasoned and supported analytical essay.
S. Petrovic: I’m always excited about learning and the arts (especially literary), so I enjoy being able to introduce the material that I love to students and see how they react to and experience it.
OKWUeagle: What is your favorite thing about OKWU in general?
P. Petrovic: The students, who exhibit an eager-to-learn personality that is unusual in academia.
S. Petrovic: …Everyone here is incredibly nice, respectful, and fun to spend time with both within and outside of classes.
OKWUeagle: Favorite food?
P. Petrovic: Vietnamese pho soup. Tasty broth, noodles, a little basil and chilli peppers, bean sprouts, and thinly sliced beef. So good.
S. Petrovic: Ethnically: Indian; Categorically: sandwiches; Specifically: any permutation of bread and cheese
OKWUeagle: Favorite movie?
S. Petrovic: It might be Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)
P. Petrovic: Likely Eric Rohmer’s French New Wave film, My Night at Maud’s. I want to teach it so bad and see others’ reaction to it.
OKWUeagle: Favorite book?
S. Petrovic: Howards End by E. M. Forster
P. Petrovic: I’ll respond to this question in two ways. The book that inspired me to major in English and to work with students was Hermann Hesse’s novel Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game, which to me epitomizes the student/professor relationship, where education and counsel are omnipresent. That book was transformative when I read it at seventeen. My favorite book today, though, which I think encapsulates contemporary American society, is Don DeLillo’s Underworld. The final seven pages are magic, and the best of any novel I’ve ever read.
OKWUeagle: Favorite play?
P. Petrovic: The logical answer is likely a Shakespeare play, but I’ll go with Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. The exchanges are playful but suffused with melancholy, and the play exposes our fallen human condition in a way that, for me, is tactile and has never been bettered.
S. Petrovic: I know it’s cliché, but I have to go with Hamlet.
OKWUeagle: Random quirkiness?
P. Petrovic: In our relationship, I am the Manic Dream Pixie Girl. Whatever else Sarah says, know that she is not the MDPG.
S. Petrovic: When I was younger, I practiced eating left-handed with chopsticks even though I’m right-hand, so that I’d be ready in case the CIA needed to send me out undercover.
OKWUeagle: How does one go about becoming your favorite student?
S. Petrovic: Ha! It’s really not too hard; if you show up prepared and participate, you’re definitely on my good list. Stopping by and chatting with me in my office is also a plus.
P. Petrovic: Visibly and audibly caring about the material and not letting your face ever turn on your mental screensaver.
OKWUeagle: If you weren’t a teacher, what would be your dream job?
P. Petrovic: One of my childhood ambitions was to be a drummer in a rock band. My brain works well enough to be able to dissect unique drumming time signatures in music, but I never followed through and took lessons.
S. Petrovic: Judge on Top Chef or Iron Chef.
OKWUeagle: Who would you be if you were a superhero?
S. Petrovic: Superman; he just epitomizes goodness and self-sacrifice.
P. Petrovic: Sadly, most likely Nite Owl II from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal Watchmen, despite yearnings to the contrary to be as vigilant, if not as judgmental, as Rorschach.
OKWUeagle: What’s your super power?
P. Petrovic: What do I wish it were? The power to transcribe my evaluation of students’ work directly from my mind to the page without any of that pesky typing/writing. As it stands right now, the ability to write six sentences that make up a page on Microsoft Word. That power is nigh-useless whenever I’m not writing essays.
S. Petrovic: Logic.
OKWUeagle: Pancakes or waffles?
P. Petrovic: Waffles are the only logical reply here.
S. Petrovic: Pancakes.
OKWUeagle: Flip flops or tennis shoes?
S. Petrovic: Tennis shoes.
P. Petrovic: Tennis shoes. Flip flops have no purpose in civilization.
The Doctors Petrovic are a great addition to Oklahoma Wesleyan, take an opportunity to help welcome them!