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I have a weird name.

Ceilidh is Gaelic -- it means a party with dancing in Scotland and Ireland. This is not a bad thing.

Ceilidh is pronounced KAY-lee here in America; probably more like KEH-uh-lee in Scotland. I answer to any polite version, even those that sound roughly like a cat hacking up a hairball.

I've been teaching college for more than twenty years and have taught not only here at Collin, but also at Texas Christian University (12 years), and earlier for Richland College (8 years), University of North Texas (2 years), and Tarrant County Community College (5 years). I've been with Collin since 1989, full time since 1994. In addition to teaching college, I'm a flight instructor and charter pilot as the occasion requires. Since I became a full-time professor, I've happily donated most of the charter flying to not-for-profit causes.

Before I became a teacher of any sort, I worked in radio and television, doing my first radio commercial at age 12. Burger Chef milkshakes. I can still sing the jingle, if you want to hear it. (Believe me, you don't want to hear it.) The company went out of business a few years after I was their kid spokesperson. I really hope there's no connection.

I train and / or am deployed weekly with a local canine search-and-rescue (SAR) team. We use scent-trained dogs to look for missing persons -- whether lost, abducted, victims of natural or manmade disasters (tornados, floods, acts of terrorism, catastrophic events). We train 3-7 hours per week and are deployed, on average, every 2-3 weeks. Additionally, we speak locally on preventing Alzheimer's walkaways and work with children, teaching them what to do that's safe when they are lost. The good news about this is that when we have violent weather, I'll completely understand if you can't make it to class. The other news, of course, is that I take fire alarms and civil defense sirens seriously.

Pets own me -- 7 dogs and 3 cats at last count, all but three of them rescues from local pounds or abuse situations. The family Golden Retriever, Puzzle, is a certified search-and-rescue K9. Search dogs are owned and trained by the handlers who work with them. Thus, Puzzle is my "dog with a day job" -- though she works plenty of night shifts, too. She loves her job; I love working as her partner. Fo'c'sle Jack, the Pirate Pom (a Pomeranian) is also a working dog; he's a certified therapy dog who visits hospitals, nursing homes, and schools, providing comfort and companionship. He's a cheerful little guy!

Sound Bite, a Crowntail Betta fish, shares my office. Sound Bite seems to like it -- really!-- when students are recording and he gets to sit in on the sessions. Please consider his fishy stare a form of encouragement.

When I can get away from Texas, I like to work as sailor/deckhand on some of the tall ships on the East or West coast, historical ships reflecting the great Age of Sail. Sailing a tall ship is hard but thrilling work, sort of a cross between the physical difficulty of SAR and the navigation and wind work of airplanes, with a magic all its own. Can you tell I like to do things outside that involve compasses? I'm inside so much, teaching, that when out of the classroom I want to be outside, outside, outside! Any weather, just not inside. Thermos of coffee, bag of roasted almonds, and a compass: seems like good living to me. wingding.jpg - 1220 Bytes

For dog pictures, ship pictures, a handsome photograph of Sound Bite and links to just about anything that seems interesting, go to the Extra page. Many of the extras featured over the semester will be leads from students.