Patrick Carberry, assistant professor of English, joined Elgin Community College just last year, commuting over from Evanston, Ill., where he’s lived for about ten years. Growing up in the south suburbs of Chicago, Carberry attended Illinois State University on a speech and debate scholarship, stayed down south to earn his Master’s Degree in English Studies with a focus on linguistics, and then headed back to his current hometown to earn a Master’s in Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Northwestern University.
“As a new faculty member, I’ve found the community of encouragement and engagement to be particularly endearing,” said Carberry. “I love coming to campus because the atmosphere here is just delightful.” Read on and get to know Carberry! He has an exciting story of Iceland to share, considers himself a horse girl at heart, and has filled his home with quite a few plants, and that’s an understatement.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled, or where is somewhere you dream of going, and why? Iceland – I went there in 2018; it was one of the best trips of my life. We purchased last-minute tickets and traveled without a plan or thought of where we would go or what we would do. We camped on the black sand beaches, woke up next to mountains, hiked up goat paths next to waterfalls, explored the villages with hand-painted street signs, soaked in the volcanic hot springs, walked the continental divide, and watched as whales popped out of the ocean. Truly, it was a life-changing experience.
What was your first job? At heart, I’m a horse girl – and my first job in high school was at a stable in the southwest suburbs. I loved the chance to be in nature, to ride and care for those animals.
Binge watcher, book club, or both? Both – and then some. I commute for about an hour on my way to campus, so I’m almost always in the middle of an audiobook. Additionally, I loved spending a rainy day curled up on the couch with some coffee and an entire season of The Great British Bake Off. For me, appreciating art (books, TV, films, music) comes in all forms!
Cats, dogs, or house plants? While I have about 75 houseplants in my collection (too many fiddle leaves and philodendrons), I still have a furry companion. She is a Flemish Giant Rabbit – which is a breed of rabbit that gets to be as large as a cat or a small dog. She’s about 12lbs right now and will keep growing for the next year, getting as big as 20lbs. Her name is Lieutenant Ichi Grey because the listing online had “Lt. Grey” posted under her picture, and my friends thought that that was her name: Lieutenant Grey. The reality was that it was just a descriptor of her color (light grey).
What’s one thing that really makes your day? Before every class period, I ask my students what music they’ve been listening to lately and play some of those songs while we prepare for the class to start. I love finding a new bop, jam, or banger that a student suggests and adding it to my own listening rotation.