by Susan Moore
“Are you moving to something or away from something?”
That was the question posed to WVU Parkersburg professor Maggie Berdine when she accepted her teaching position at the college many years ago.
Berdine was born and raised in West Virginia, but thought she wanted to move away from the state she grew up in after she received her B.A. in English from Fairmont State College.
She accepted an assistantship at the University of Hawaii, a place many college students dream of going.
“It was the valley of rainbows,” Berdine recalled of her days on the beautiful Hawaiian Islands.
The spectacular views from her windows made it very hard to focus on her studies.
After graduating with a M.A. in English from the University of Hawaii, she made the decision to return home and began her teaching career at the college.
Berdine has a very active schedule for the spring semester. She is currently teaching English 091, English 101 and 102, English 131: Poetry and Drama, and English 242: American Literature II.
American Literature II student Jennifer Brunoni said of Berdine, “She is great. She is not afraid to be a real person –very unique. Professor Berdine loves what she does.”
When she is not busy with classes, Berdine enjoys spending time with her husband. One of their favorite pastimes is travelling to Tobermory, Ontario, Canada. A small fishing village located at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula. While there, they enjoy hiking and spending time at the Fathom Five National Marine Park.
When back in the Mid-Ohio Valley, Berdine is an active member of the Blues, Folk and Jazz Society of Marietta. The next big event for the group is the River City Blues Festival held March 18 and 19 at the Lafayette Hotel in downtown Marietta.
But, at the end of the day, teaching is what Berdine loves the most, especially her English 101 class. This is where she gets to interact the most with her students.Through all her 38 years of teaching, Berdine has developed a great compassion for her students and with that the realization that not all students are ready for college. It is a scene Berdine has seen many times during her career; countless students come and go only to return years later to get their college education. Her advice, “Come here when you are ready to learn,” Berdine said. In her experience, she has found that only with an open mind do college students get the most from their education