For the Fall 2021 semester, the Honors College welcomed Dr. Guy Schuh as a professor for UH 200: Life as a Scholar. So how exactly does a California-born, Boston-educated, Eastern Philosophy professor end up in Alabama? Schuh made more than a few pit stops along the way. Nevertheless, his journey to the university has provided valuable experience that has shaped his teaching goals and interests.
Big Sur, California
Starting his journey on the West Coast, Schuh was raised in Big Sur, California, about an hour south of San Jose. He grew up in a cabin in the redwoods, relatively isolated from a larger community. Sandwiched between the coast and the mountains, Big Sur is undeniably home to endless beautiful nature. Schuh maintains this love for the outdoors in Tuscaloosa by running the local riverwalk and finding places to go hiking. He later moved toward the larger town of Carmel, California.
St. John’s College, New Mexico
Despite dreams of planting roots on the East Coast, Schuh found his dream school two states over in Santa Fe, New Mexico. While his friends stayed in state, St. John’s College was just “far enough” to provide his desired university experience. There, he endured an intense liberal arts education. Interestingly, the college has no majors. Instead, each of the 400 students takes the same program of seminar-based classes centered around classical texts. Though it may seem a far cry from Alabama’s sheer size and energy, the Honors College provides an opportunity to foster similar environments from his undergrad for students here. In the future, he has goals to introduce electives to the honors community centered around the classic texts of Eastern culture. For example, his class could feature topics such as The Art of War, Confucius and Daoism.
Experiencing inevitable post-college burnout, grad school seemed like a daunting next step for Schuh. Moving back home and “failing to reach escape velocity” was simply not an option. It was time for a pit stop instead. His friends decided to pick a random city and move there en masse, most of them choosing to volunteer in Chicago Public Schools and city charter schools through AmeriCorp.
Boston University, Massachusetts
Life experience under his belt, he decided it was time to return to school. At Boston University, Schuh specialized in ancient philosophy, graduating with his Ph.D. in 2017. He holds great affection for the city and still considers it his home base.
Post Ph.D, Schuh’s first position as a professor was at Georgia Southern University. Though nothing permanent stemmed from this opportunity and he ended up returning to Boston, he used the Southern exposure as a stepping stone to Alabama. After spending a year there to soften the culture shock of the south, he uses his experience there to compare to The University of Alabama.
At UA, Schuh currently teaches UH 200: Life as a Scholar. He approaches the class to conduct practical life experiments via the “ways of life championed by famous people throughout history.” For example, he asks his students to examine the Buddhist way of life by practicing meditation every day for a week. As a goal for the future, Schuh would love to lead a contemporary ethics class with topics ranging from pandemic ethics to justice and equity. Ideally, subjects would constantly rotate to talk about the real world and issues students express interest in. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Schuh is still getting to know the Tuscaloosa community. He prefers to get work done out of the house, so he can frequently be found at a local coffee shop or bar.