This year, Judith Vollmer is retiring from Pitt-Greensburg. “I’m still going to be doing what I do now,” said Vollmer, Professor of English.
She plans on teaching more, but at an individualized level, and mostly with graduate students. In addition she hopes to spend her time doing the things she enjoys most.
“I really like hiking,” said Vollmer. “I look forward to going out west more, once you’re in the semester it’s hard to get out there.”
Vollmer, who has family living out west, said she stayed three nights out in Chase Canyon once, where the day-time temperature reached 110 degrees. She is also going to start working on the pile of essay drafts and other writing projects she has waiting for her, including her new book entitled “Apallonia Poems” which comes out in February.
“Apallonia is the name of an ancient Greek city,” Vollmer said. “But, it’s also the name of my great grandma.”
Recently, Vollmer found records of her great grandma, making her the muse for her poems. She said the book is similar to what she’s written in the past, talking about family, place, green space, cities that are ruined or rebuilt, and politics.
“I hope it’s written in a new way,” she said.
One of her favorite books is “Conversations in Italy” by Elio Vittorini, one of many novels she assigns in her World Literature class. She said his novel influenced her writing and that she is going to miss teaching it.
“With “Conversations in Italy,” she said. “I find that students always teach me something new every semester.”
In addition, she is excited to continue gardening.
“My house is shady,” said Vollmer. “I have a lot of trees, so I have to keep moving my potted plants into sunny spots.”
After leaving Pitt-Greensburg, she is going to miss working with students the most.
“I like sitting with students and hearing what they want to put on paper,” said Vollmer. “That’s the greatest part of teaching, getting to work with students that are talented and passionate about writing. I think of myself as a guide or midwife to students, everyone needs a reader.”