Dr. Maria Veronica Pantoja
I got my AA from Del Mar, my BA and MA in English from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and my PhD in Rhetoric, Composition and Linguistics from Arizona State University.
I worked at Del Mar in the Stone Writing Center from 1989 to around 1996. After my time in Arizona, I moved back to Corpus and began working at Del Mar again in 2009. Del Mar’s in my blood!
I guess always wanted to be an English major mainly because I was an avid reader growing up, and I enjoyed the world of words and writing. Working at the Writing Center led to my interest in composition and rhetoric and to focus on helping students express their thoughts clearly and confidently.
If you could invite 4 people to dinner, living or dead, who would they be and why?
Quentin Tarantino: because he knows so much about film and because he’s a talented film director (and one of my favorites).
Ray Bradbury: because he’s the reason I became an English major and because he’s one of my favorite authors. I had the privilege of hearing him speak at Comic-Con a few years ago, and he was brilliant and inspiring.
Matt Groening: because I LOVE The Simpsons. It’d be fun to see what he comes up with.
Guillermo del Toro: because he too is another favorite film director, and his vision is so fantastically creepy and beautiful.
What are five bands/singers on your iPod/in your CD player?
Radiohead, Rush, Daft Punk, Jamie Cullum, Cookin’ on 3 Burners
What is your favorite movie?
The Devil’s Backbone, The Shining, Psycho, Fargo, Young Frankenstein, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, Raising Arizona, Sling Blade, Eraserhead—so many more! I can’t pick just one! Plus, my favorite genre is horror, as my English 1302 students know (because of my “Vampires, Monsters, and Madmen” 1302 class), so I have lots of other horror favorites too!
What is your favorite hobby outside of class?
What is the worst excuse you’ve ever heard from a student?
I know students are busy people with many responsibilities. But, a student once told me that he didn’t complete the reading for class because the reading was too difficult to understand and because it was too long. Instead of attempting to read through the material learn to overcome some obstacles, the student simply gave up.
What is one fact about you that your students would find surprising?
Every now and then, I actually can enjoy a sappy romantic-comedy film.
If you could visit one place where would it be?
New Zealand. I guess it’s a nerdy answer, since my choice mainly stems from the Lord of the Rings filming locations.
Again, too many to narrow down, but I guess The Stories of Ray Bradbury, which I read again and again growing up. More recently I enjoyed The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.
From another favorite movie, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension: “Wherever you go…there you are.”