43 Questions with Dr. Anne Wallace

43 Questions with Dr. Anne Wallace

Posted on August 24, 2022

Dr. Anne Wallace has been with the English Department for many years. She has served in various administrative positions, and was Department Head from 2005-14. Her field of speciality is 19th century British Literature. Dr. Wallace will be retiring soon and will be greatly missed by all in the English Department.

  1. What’s your favorite time of day?

Morning—when the light first comes up, the sky is changing color, the first birds are singing, and the coffee is almost done. Well, maybe after the coffee is done!

  1. What’s the biggest learning experience you’ve had as a member of the English Department?

Holy mackerel. You want me to choose??

  1. What are you most excited about these days?

Nature’s surprises: a fox strolling through my backyard, or a crop of beautiful sun-yellow mushrooms, like small flower petals, growing up through my deck. (Yes, I know, I’ll have to fix that!)

  1. What makes you smile the most?

My partner Tony

  1. What’s one thing people don’t know about you?

I’m hot-tempered. At least I hope not too many people know this!

  1. What are the three things you can’t live without?

Loving people, sunlight, words

  1. Window or aisle seat?

Window—only now, I usually want aisle (because, pandemic)

  1. What’s your current TV show obsession?

Trying to find my next TV show obsession

  1. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?

Many years ago a friend who was moving his father’s small yacht asked me and two other friends to come with him on the voyage from the San Juan Islands to Ketchikan, Alaska. I still can’t believe I said yes. We damn near died in the Johnson Straits, and only then did he reveal that he had never “captained” a boat before and couldn’t read charts. It was (in the end) a marvelous experience.

  1. How would you define yourself in three words?

Expressive, cheerful, serious

  1. What’s inspiring you in life right now?

Ukrainian courage and endurance

  1. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?


  1. What’s your pet peeve?

Using the word “unique” to describe things that are not actually unique

  1. What’s heavily played on your music playlist right now?

I don’t actually have a playlist, but recently we’ve been listening a lot to the New Orleans-inspired soundtrack from the 1980s film “The Big Easy.”

  1. What’s your favorite board game?

I don’t play board games much, but I’ll tell you my youngest grandson’s favorite: “Oregon Trail.” The point is to stay alive longer than the other travelers. I usually die of something hideous pretty early on.

  1. What book did you most recently finish?

I re-read Hometown Appetites, a biography of the magnificently named Clementine Paddleford, who was born and raised in Kansas. She was a very influential food-journalist in the first half of the 20th century—mostly forgotten today, though she paved the way for our TV chefs and foodies. Recipes included!

  1. What’s your favorite holiday?


  1. If you could switch lives with one person for a day, who would it be?

A great ballet dancer, any gender, to feel what it’s like to inhabit such an exceptional melding of physical and artistic capabilities

  1. What is one book you’ll admit you’ve never read but probably should?

Oh, so many…anything by Pynchon? but I’ll choose in field: Thomas Carlyle’s The French Revolution

  1. What’s the one thing you wish you knew at age 19?

It wouldn’t have done me any good. I wouldn’t have believed it.

  1. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?


  1. What is the best book you’ve ever read?

I refuse to answer on the ground it may tend to incriminate me.

  1. What is a fictional city you would love to travel to?

I can’t answer this, surprisingly! The real cities are fabulous enough for me.

  1. Favorite food?

Nope, can’t do it. I love to eat. I can’t choose.

  1. Favorite snack?

A mixture of Snyder’s Pretzel Snaps and Kirkland Super Extra-Large Extra-Crunchy Virginia Peanuts

  1. What’s the one talent you wish you had?

See #18 above.

  1. What’s your favorite band?

Umm, can’t answer—don’t listen to music in this way, I guess

  1. What’s a superpower you wish you had?

I’d like to turn back the clock on climate change. But we’d only do it again, I’m afraid.

  1. What’s something you don’t want to be doing in 10 years?

At this point in my life I am focused on what I do want to be doing then!

  1. What’s the best thing that happened this year?

To me? I got to spend time with my daughter and her family for the first time since December 2019.

  1. Which movie makes you laugh the hardest?

Whichever Pink Panther movie in which Inspector Clouseau says, “I have fixed your phone from the ringing”—but any Pink Panther movie will do

  1. What do you do in your free time?

Refill my bird baths and watch the lovely creatures enjoy the water

  1. What’s your favorite color?

Sunflower yellow

  1. What are three words to describe the English department?

Oh no, you’re not tricking me into this one!

  1. What’s one thing you had to learn the hard way?


  1. What’s a trend you would like to see disappear forever?


  1. What did you want to do with your life at age 12?

I was pretty clueless. Under consideration at the time: ecologist, chef, jockey, poet, astronaut.

  1. What do you consider your greatest career achievement?

Something invisible: the times when people at UNCG or in the wider profession have turned to me for help, and I’ve had a chance to try to help them. That they would come to me with trust is the achievement.

  1. What do you enjoy the most about the English Department?

The everyday camaraderie that (usually) prevails

  1. What are you working on now?

Understanding this next part of my life, making it fruitful as well as enjoyable

  1. Cats or dogs?


  1. What are your future plans?

See #40 above.

  1. What advice do you have for students?

Study! and enjoy.