The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

But seriously, Bob Dickerson … English professor retires after 25 years at De Anza

During faculty meetings , he might jump up on a table and quote poetry. His curricula not only included traditional authors, but also those of counter-culture.

These are the customs of Bob Dickerson. He is retiring after his long career as an English professor at De Anza College.

“I’ve been teaching at De Anza about 25 years,” Dickerson wrote in an email.

“Before De Anza, I tested diapers as an infant, wrote thousands of misleading movie reviews, worked (for almost four hours) in an Arkansas chicken factory, sold advertising (the TV show Mad Men is loosely based on my career), and served a few years at Guantanamo for grooving without a license. I still receive Christmas cards from my cellmate.” Dickerson said.

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On his teaching principles: “I try to simultaneously corrupt and inspire my students. My goal is to make everyone unsuitable for regular nine-to-five jobs and thus bring down the Empire,”

He wrote for his retirement, he “applied to be an apprentice pirate off the coast of Madagascar, but since I lack both a parrot and a pegleg, that may not work out.”

Diana Fleming, instructor of Language Arts, said she would miss having Dickerson next to her office.

“He always had a joke ready for me, and that’s going to change. He is known as one of the most humorous instructors here on campus. However, his humor was always designed to cheer up faculty and never to put down anyone,” she said.

Fleming says Dickerson was n the hiring committee when she applied for her job in 2000.

“He was responsible for hiring me, as well as many other faculty members. He was very supportive and creative” she said.

Michael Mannina, 29, communications/journalism major, took EWRT 1B and Introduction to Poetry with Dickerson.

Mannina said he would always remember Dickerson’s extraordinary community-building skills and creativity in putting individual styles of students into team work.

“He could make class more like a community, having a way of putting students at ease. I have never seen community-building done so fast,” Mannina said.

In his ironic style, Dickerson wrote during his long career he noticed a change in students’ generations.

“When I started teaching at De Anza in the late eighties, 90 percent of my students were geniuses. They were beautiful, funny, courageous, and paid attention in class. Now, the number is closer to 80 percent. I blame the decline on the popularity of Justin Beiber.”

English language skills, as Dickerson wrote, “are no longer important for anyone. It seems we defeated the English to gain our independence, but their language has defeated us. I look forward to a future of monosyllables and grunts (with an incessant backbeat and maybe a superfine bass line).”

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