Liz: Liz likes reading books, which is why she originally signed up to be an English professor: her idea of fun is trying to get undergraduates to share her love of literature. But she’s now the Chair of the English Department, and finds she likes administration almost as much: helping people build their careers, get teaching prizes, and enjoy their life in our Departmental community is deeply satisfying. When Liz is not working she is still reading books, teaching numerous graduate students, watching movies, going to the theatre, enjoying classical music, and, her favorite occupation of all, traveling both in America and abroad. She and Alan have been lucky enough to spend four separate semesters teaching in France and one in Galway, Ireland, while every year they go on a theatre binge in London, always accompanied by Daniel. One of Liz’s major pleasures is cooking real, healthy meals and sitting down with her family to eat them; Whole Foods Market alternates with Central Market as her gourmet mecca. Another daily pleasure is working out at UT’s magnificent Gregory Gym, although various creaky joints have recently curtailed the intensity of her exercise. Finally, the most important part of [both] our lives together has been watching Daniel grow up to be a martial arts black belt, a lover of Shakespeare and Milton, a Jane Austen fan, an actor who played Hamlet in UT’s Shakespeare at Winedale program, a world traveller who is bi-lingual in French and not bad at Chinese, and, most importantly, a kind, gentle, ethical, and thoughtful person who is concerned about those less fortunate than himself. Daniel has become our friend as much as our son, and we love spending time with him. He is coming with us to spend a year England (yes, we both have research leaves, and will be watching our house grow from afar); while we are busy writing our books he will be doing an MA in Sinology at the University of London.
Alan: Specializes in modern British, Irish, and American literature, the novel, and Shakespearean drama. He has authored five critical studies and edited a dozen other books and journal issues. He has directed Plan II (UT’s university-wide honors program); chaired both the Faculty Senate and Faculty Council; coordinated the annual residency program, Actors From The London Stage AFTLS; directed the student organization, Spirit of Shakespeare, which supports the residency and performs scenes from the annual AFTLS play; founded and directed the English Department’s Oxford Summer Program; received Plan II’s Chad Oliver Teaching Award and the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award, as well as UT’s Civitatis Award conferred annually “upon a member of the faculty in recognition of dedicated and meritorious service to the University above and beyond the regular expectations of teaching, research, and writing.” He is an avid squash player (though “temporarily” sidelined with back problems), a dedicated exerciser (including Pilates), theater and film aficionado, foreign traveler, and amateur environmentalist. He has three children (and four grandchildren) from his first marriage, one of whom lives in Austin and will help to oversee the construction of the new house.
How did you find Native and why did you choose them as a contractor?
Liz was browsing “green” builders on line, and was attracted by the stylish contemporary but not over-the-top houses shown in their portfolio. We were both drawn to their philosophy and values concerning energy and the environment. The website caught our attention; then we met Eddie, whose charm and enthusiasm sold us completely. We felt as though he shared our concerns about climate change and understood the ethics as well as the money-saving aspects of green building. We never considered another contractor, and did not comparison-shop. It just felt right. Eddie introduced us to our architect, Elliot Johnson, who graciously put up with our opinionated views and ultimately produced not one but two brilliant designs, that satisfied all our desires. When we encountered unforeseen problems that made a second design imperative, both Eddie and Elliot remained patient, optimistic and positive. When we originally chose Native we had not met our fantastic designer Jackie Burke, but she has been a major part of our satisfaction with the experience so far.