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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feltovich ’03 experiencing a Classic return to Grinnell

While it’s been more than a decade since Anne Feltovich ’03, Assistant Professor of Classics, first set foot on Grinnell’s campus, not much has really changed—at least in terms of the students. As far as the buildings go, Feltovich will have to adjust.

Photograph by Johanna Silverman.

“One thing I really miss is that the Forum used to be a central gathering place … it was cool, and I liked it, and I liked to hang out at the Forum grill,” Feltovich said. “Almost all of the common buildings are new, so the JRC is completely new to me, the Darby gym is gone.”

On the other hand, many facets of her college life are still recognizable. Feltovich’s memories of Younker as a noisy dorm remain relevant, and many of her former professors are still in the area, though not all are still teaching.

“It seems like a lot of the faculty … have stayed on in town with emeritus status,” Feltovich said, “so, a lot of my old, favorite profs are still here.”

Professor Feltovich has now joined their ranks as part of Grinnell’s Classics Department. Now that she’s teaching several of the classes that she took here as a student, Feltovich has found herself retracing many of the steps she took while pursuing a Classics major, but from the other side of the classroom.

“I very much enjoyed the classes that I took, and to me, those faculty were good role models on how to produce a good course,” Feltovich said. “Even in the courses that I’ve taught in other places … I often use the teaching tools that I learned from these faculty.”

Before her return to small-town Iowa, Feltovich attended graduate school and taught at the University of Cincinnati. Like many Grinnellians, though, she was eventually drawn back to the cornfields.

“I really liked my experience here … I wanted to come back and be a part of it from the other side, because I wanted to give back to the students the same kind of thing that I got here,” she said.

In Feltovich’s time as a student, when she had to make the familiar choice between friends, grades and sleep, Feltovich usually let sleep fall to the wayside. She maintains that having good friends in your chosen area of study can help enormously, but also recommends that students not drive themselves crazy with work.

“A lot of the students remind me of me. I think I worked too hard, and didn’t take enough time to relax, and stressed out far too much … and it breaks my heart,” she said. “I want to tell them that you can’t beat yourself up … you’ve got to relax at the same time.”

It’s nice to know that positive aspects of Grinnell have stayed constant through the years, though not every stable characteristic is so upbeat. In case you were wondering, according to Feltovich, the oft-maligned campus bicycles were every bit as decrepit then as they are now.

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