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20 Questions with Leonard LaPointe

IMG_954420 Questions with Leonard LaPointe

Francis Eppes Professor of Communication Science and Disorders
Faculty: Program in Neuroscience
Faculty: College of Medicine

  1. What was your first job?
    Bagging potatoes in the local Red Owl store; peeling pulpwood in the woods of Upper Michigan; tamping railroad ties for the Milwaukee Road; lifeguard at Sawyer Lake.
  2. If you were to write a personal memoir, what would you name it?
    Persistence is essential to success.
  3. Where did you grow up?
    Channing, a tiny railroad village in the wilds of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
  4. What is your favorite class you’ve taught?
    Neuroanatomy of human communication.
  5. What is your favorite place to grab dinner in Tallahassee?
    Kool Beanz.
  6. What are your hobbies outside of work?
    Travel, other cultures, salt water, blues, Americana, and world music, wine and the culinary arts, reading, writing, humor, and cultivation of optimism and the absurd.
  7. Have you always wanted to teach?
    No. I worked in clinics and hospitals with brain-injured patients for many years.
  8. What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to or where would you like to go?
    We’ve been to a lot of places. Favorites are Paris where we lived for three months while researching in museums with a backstage pass for the biography of Paul Broca, a 19th century neuroscientist; also lived and loved Australia; New Zealand; Thailand; Hong Kong; and India. One of my favorite spots is Moorea in the South Seas where we could look through a Plexiglas insert in a thatched hut floor over the water and watch the sea creatures. Turn on an underwater light at night for an entirely new cast of characters.
  9. How many football games have you attended?
    Hundreds. In the Big 10, Big Eight, SEC, and ACC. Remain loyal to Green Bay Packers since I started watching them during the classic Lombardi era.
  10. Proudest career/life moment?
    Teaching Awards at FSU. Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association where my 83 year old Dad was in the audience to see his dork son recognized by peers. Also, watched and assisted (husband-coached childbirth) the births of my son Chris and daughter Adrienne.
  11. What’s your favorite band?
    Leonard Cohen, singer-songwriter; Townes Van Zandt; Vivaldi; Irish Rovers; Asylum Street Spankers
  12. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
    “Be your duty big or small. Do it well or not at all.” (My Dad)
  13. If money were no object, how would you spend your days?
    With my family in a country that had adequate and affordable medical care and was not driven by obscene profiteering and neglect. Good books and good causes.
  14. What is your favorite book and why?
    Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. Dancing at the Rascal Fair by Ivan Doig. A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by my friend and our own Robert Olen Butler. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean Dominique Bauby. “Butterfly” was written by translating eye blinks of his left eye after Bauby became quadriplegic and mute. Required reading for all my students. For kicks, Blood Ice by Chick LaPointe, a thriller involving black market bear poaching, Chinese triads, a small town conservation officer in over his head, fire, kidnapping, and redemption set in Upper Michigan, Hong Kong, and San Francisco.
  15. If you could be famous for something, what would it be?
    Eliminating the human need for toilets. Bad design to begin with.
  16. What Jeopardy category could you clear, no problem?
  17. Do you have any pets?
    Yes, a Golden Retriever named Annie. Each semester my students come to our refurbished-church house for “Breakfast with Annie” or “Pizza with Annie.” Also, a small, reconstituted wooly mammoth.
  18. When did you start working at Florida State University?
    2000. Very fortunate to be appointed Francis Eppes Professor of Communication Science and Disorders. Best job I’ve ever had.
  19. What was the last movie you saw in theaters?
  20. What is the best part about your job?
    Working on a daily basis with wonderful students and a productive, collegial faculty who get along well, enjoy each other’s company, collaborate, tolerate my humor, and are ranked in the top 20 of over 300 programs in our field.

’20 Questions with CCI’ brings faculty and staff from the College of Communication & Information into a new light. Learn more about your favorite professors – their hobbies, interests and favorite Tally places.

Do you know someone at CCI you’d like to see featured? Submit their names to kate.mullen@cci.fsu.edu.