Catching up with...Andy Morris

Publication Date

Andy Morris, associate professor of history, joined Union in the 2003-2004 academic year. His teaching and research focus on late 19th and 20th century political and environmental history. He lives in Schenectady with his wife, Mary Moore Wallinger, and their two sons, Gibson and Samuel, and various and sundry pets.

Professor Andrew Morris

FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING:

Email. Yes, I’m a dinosaur.

ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES:

Richard Russo’s “Nobody’s Fool.” It’s just full of flawed and funny characters. Russo has been one of my favorite writers for a long time, and it was only when we moved here that I found out that this book is loosely based in Gloversville, just right up the road.

BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED:

My graduate school advisor once told me about writing, “The loneliest moment is when you sit down in front of a blank page.” It’s a good reminder that starting something can be really hard, but also that it’s hard for everybody.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS:

This is cliché, but the Nott Memorial. It’s such a beautiful, crazy building that nobody has ever figured out quite what to do with.

GO-TO BREAKFAST:

I love avocado on toast. I recently heard that this supposedly is a millennial thing, but my mom remembers my grandmother serving it to them when she was growing up in Nebraska, so maybe we’ve been on the cutting edge for a few generations.

NETFLIX OR AMAZON:

Lean toward Amazon (“Bosch,” “The Expanse”) but the original content on both has become really good.

FAVORITE PODCAST:

“Pod Save America.” I’m a political junkie, and the hosts of this show are funny and profane, and they have great guests.

ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD:

Playing the guitar. I love singalongs and have always wished that I could provide the music to go with it. But I’m too lazy to ever have tried to start to learn, so I depend on the talents of others.

ANOTHER SUBJECT YOU WISH YOU COULD TEACH:

Geology – even deeper history than what I teach now. I love being outside and thinking about how radically different a particular spot might have looked in an earlier eon.

MOST CREATIVE EXCUSE YOU HEARD FOR A LATE ASSIGNMENT:

When I was in graduate school, one of my students explained that he couldn’t submit his assignment because his laptop was out of commission, having been soaked by the fire department. They came to put out the fire in his room started by his roommate, who had been using a lighter to look under my student’s bed for his stash of a then-illegal and now quasi-legal substance. Apparently my student subscribed to the “Go Big or Go Home” school of excuses.