As students crowd Danner to grab a bite of food in between classes, or study and snooze in the Goleman Library they may not be thinking twice of what professors are doing during their free time or everyday lives.
Mary Blackford is a quirky English adjunct instructor who has been teaching at Delta since 2006. She has a notable knack for writing as well as reading, amongst other various talents and hobbies.
“I’ve always read and I’ve always wanted to write”, said Blackford.
Blackford received her Bachelors in English at University of California, Davis, and went on to receive her masters degree at Sacramento State University.
While attending Davis her parents expected her to become a veterinarian. Blackford originally wanted to become a costume designer, but she fell in love with the art of
English and creative writing, and never looked back.
“The whole ballerina-veterinarian thing didn’t work out”, said Blackford, smiling.
Blackford’s first completed piece of writing as a noted screenplay author was “Wings” which placed second in a national screen exhibition. Out of about 1,200 writers she was in the top 35-50.
The screenplays initial concept came to Blackford in 1998 while passing a senior citizen complex she saw white plastic chairs sitting on the balconies. It got her thinking of how her life would be when she got old, and that many elderly persons must live desolate lives in these complexes.
Blackford has also been trained in tai-kwon do, and akita.
She’s also trained vigorously at her personal friend Payton Quinn’s Rocky Mountain Combat Applications Training center in self-defense and shooter scenarios.
“I had twisted ankles and twisted wrists it was by far the bravest and most adventurous things I’ve done,” said Blackford. She is an avid gardener, and owns an acre which is a mini-farm owning about 16 roosters and two chickens, and plans to maybe get a sheep. She has recently learned how to bee-keep at “Love Apple Farms” in
Santa Cruz and plans to add a bee-hive this summer to her garden.
“I’ve always loved learning about everything,” said Blackford.
Blackford makes all natural lip-balm and lotions and would like to start a web site to sell her products. She also participates in American tribal style belly dancing.
“I go over to SF and take classes with Fat Chance Belly Dance, it’s my favorite form of exercise,” said Blackford. “I would never be caught dead dancing in public, I do it for myself.”
Blackford’s passion for teaching others, as well as learning, is what keeps her engaged and confident in being a professor.
“I like to think I help and it’s gratifying to see a student’s light-bulb go off and see them trust their own thoughts,” he said.
When Blackford was asked to sum herself up in a few words her response was: “Bigger on the inside than the outside.”
Blackford is heavily involved on campus with the Writer’s Guild Club, and an advisor for the Fencing club. Both intertwine with her favorite book series “Lord of the Rings.”
One of her bucket list objectives is to literally live in a hobbit hole.
“I am a hobbit, I cook, I eat, I garden, I write,” she said.
Blackford’s long list of interesting hobbies and accomplishments may be surprising to students, but her unique family, love for the arts and writing, and outgoing personality make her an amazing professor.