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A professor at the University of Connecticut. He taught children's literature and nature writing at 8 and 9 in the morning, Monday, Wednesday and Friday because he figured the early hour would frighten off students that weren't serious about the classes. Given the nature of the University while I was there, he was pretty much correct in his reasoning. He received a certain amount of notoriety for some time because the gentleman who wrote the movie Dead Poet's Society based Robin Williams's character on Professor Pickering. Professor Pickering wouldn't mention it, but he did have a shirt on it that said Carpe Diem.

Persoanlly, I think I caught him on a bad year. his classes were mis-scheduled, far more than he would usually permit, and anyone who reads from his own work as inspiration for his class doesn't quite sit right with me.

The most memorable moment I had was when showing my little sister, a junior in high school at the time, why she shouldn't go to Uconn, Professor Pickering gave a class discussing the time he went to the Agriculture School on campus and they let him artificially inseminate a cow. He discussed at length how good it felt to have his hand... well, you know.

I often wondered, since I had asked in advance about my sister sitting in on the class (It was a small class) if the lecture had been livened up for her benefit. Usually I simply practiced writing with my left hand. But at least I can say I took his classes. And people have asked.