By Kelly Kuzman
“Just like you guys, I have so much to do. I take four classes, I’m full-time,” says Prof. Robert Gilpin.
Robert Gilpin has been teaching Anthropology at SUNY Stony Brook and Suffolk Community College for about 10 years. He has taught at both Brentwood and Selden campuses for the past three years. Also, he is currently a student at Dowling. He maintains an outstanding 3.9 GPA in the Masters of Science Program for General and Special Education (Grades 1 through 6). His goal is to become a full time Special Education Elementary School teacher because he loves teaching and he has worked with children who have special needs in the past.
Prof. Gilpin is not like the rest, not only is he also a college student that understands juggling of work and a social life, he also has a first hand background on the culture of India.
“I first traveled to India after I graduated from High School. The main purpose of the majority of my trips is to spend time in all the Holy Sites connected with Lord Krishna and the Vaishnava Religion. What I love most about India is its connection to my faith. I am a devotee of Lord Krishna and a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. …I love to travel to Lord Krishna’s places of pastime. I have traveled throughout all of India. I’ve been to India more times than I can count. I conducted my Graduate School Anthropology research by living in Indian Villages for considerable lengths of time. Another aspect of India that I love is the people and their culture. Connected to my faith are many aspects of the culture of India and Vaishnavism, which includes the ancient Arts (sculpture, dance, music, drama, architecture and religious texts). I’m obviously a complete vegetarian (for thirty years now), and India has the finest vegetarian foods in the entire world!”
Professor Gilpin is an adjunct professor here at SCCC and will probably not be here in the Fall semester due to student teaching, which is part of his Dowling requirements. He has become a friend to students with his witty remarks and his first hand knowledge of the culture of India. His class is always exciting to go to because even when you aren’t feeling like you want to learn anything about anthropology you are guaranteed a smile, laugh, and a life lesson.
“As a graduate and undergraduate, I enjoyed being in anthro classes because that was my major. I didn’t find it fun to be in the other classes, if I wasn’t majoring in it, I didn’t want to be there”, he says. Now how many of us can relate to that? He sure tells it like it is.
“My biggest pet peeve at school, as a teacher, is that I can’t tolerate disrespectful wise-asses. My pet peeve at home; nothing really comes to mind except that neighbor kid blasting his damn car stereo! And the garbage men that throw my empty garbage can into the street”, Gilpin says. A laugh is always promised with him, as well as knowledge of Lord Krishna and India.
Gilpin’s family is very important to him. He says that his mom is his biggest supporter and he has two great younger brothers, one who is even in a band with a myspace.com page but that is exclusive information only for his beloved students. His interests not only lie in the field of anthropology but he is also a huge fan of superheroes and comics. His students know that and are happy to bring him back “Spiderman” souvenirs from their vacations.
“HARE KRISNA!”, Prof. Gilpin’s goodbye.