Meet a General: Emily King When she isn't keeping the offices of Lifelong Learning and Institutional History humming, Emily King likes to spend time with her family, bake and collect more books than she will ever read.
“I understand that there is a Japanese term for a desire to buy more books than one can ever read – tsundoku (literally, “reading pile”) – and I definitely engage in that.”
~ Emily King
Q: Where did you grow up?
I was born in Chicago and lived near Travis and Scott AFB for four years each. My family then moved to Pueblo, Colorado, when I was nine, and that’s where we stayed.
Q: How long have you worked at W&L?
Q: What does your job here entail?
I am the administrative assistant in two offices: the Office of Lifelong Learning, and Institutional History.
Q: What do you like best about working at W&L?
Definitely the people! I also think that Lexington and W&L’s campus are beautiful. Sally Mann’s book, “Hold Still,” describes the unique beauty of Rockbridge County, and I think she is absolutely correct: We are surrounded by stunning countryside.
Q: Is there anything about your job or department that you wish more people in the W&L community knew?
I hope that everyone in the W&L community knows about the programs in Lifelong Learning. The Traveler programs are top-rate and open to all members of W&L’s extended family and friends of W&L. The campus-based programs— Institute for Honor in March, Tom Wolfe lecture in April, Law and Literature in October, and Alumni College in the summer—are fee-based because of the meals included, but the lectures themselves are free to the W&L campus community.
In Institutional History, I am excited for folks to see the fruits of the strong partnerships we are forming with organizations such as Stratford Hall, Mount Vernon and Arlington House. Institutional History connects with all parts of the university – alumni, students, faculty, staff and local organizations. There’s an opportunity for everyone to engage and be involved.
Q: What is your favorite spot on campus? Why?
Under Wilson Bridge on the Woods Creek trail and also on the Wilson Bridge. Both views are magical. I generally love taking my twin daughters (age 6) all around the campus to play and picnic.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
Being with my kids and husband [Associate Professor of Art History Elliott King] above all. As long as I’m with them, my favorite thing depends on the season and location: cozying up with a good book, exploring a new city early in the morning, beachcombing, traveling, berry-picking, baking, snowshoeing, Colorado running (dry air!). I love secondhand shopping and dare say I may have a talent for it.
Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you build your dream home? Why?
If stateside, I might elect for a really nice RV with a bicycle to satisfy my nomadic needs (and perhaps follow my kids wherever they live), and with a home base in the southern Colorado mountains. Internationally, a small home in the Cap de Creus area of Spain would be wonderful.
Q: What is the best book or film you’ve read/watched recently?
I’m notoriously bad about watching shows and movies (like, weeks can go by without our family turning on the TV), but I recently became obsessed with the HBO miniseries “Chernobyl” and binge-watched it twice on recent international flights. I also really enjoyed the film “The Farewell.” I’m in two book clubs, so I manage to read a good amount. I find Hampton Sides’ books absolutely gripping. I understand that there is a Japanese term for a desire to buy more books than one can ever read–tsundoku (literally, “reading pile”)–and I definitely engage in that.
Q: What is your favorite kind of music or musical artist?
I enjoy a wide range of music, but top artists include Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Prima, Chopin, Beethoven, Paolo Conte, Cechomor, Pink Martini, Bajofondo, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash, Eagles and Willie Nelson. This past summer, Elliott and I took the kids on a whirlwind trip up to Tanglewood to watch John Williams conduct his own music, and it was 100 percent worth the nine-hour drive.
Q: What is your desert island food?
Though I love baking, I’m a big salad nut. I love a giant salad full of goodies. Toss in some Cocoa Mill chocolate and a good bottle of wine and we’ve got a complete meal.
Q: What are some things most people don’t know about you?
• I have a single-engine land pilot’s license, BUT it is not current so I am not legally able to fly on my own. I earned my license and then moved overseas for most of my 20s (Czech Republic, France and England) with little opportunity (or money) to fly. However, I like to think that if I were ever in an Indiana Jones-type scene (“Indy, no one is flying the plane!”), I might have some useful skills. Knowing the phonetic alphabet is always helpful.
• I am synesthetic (I see numbers and letters as colors).
• I graduated from Le Cordon Bleu but between working full-time and kids, I don’t make many fancy things these days.
Q: Favorite quotes/saying?
• Measure twice, cut once.
• Haste makes waste.
• Feed two birds with one scone (far less violent and same meaning)
• You can’t judge someone’s life story by the chapter you stepped into.
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