Chat Room - Bill Eanes

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Bill Eanes, 35, grew up in Bristol, Va., and graduated from Bluefield College before he took a job in admissions at Ferrum College in Virginia. He came to Maryville College in a similar position in 1999. A year and a half later, he took a job in admissions at Pellissippi State Technical Community College and about two and a half years ago he moved to the Blount County Campus where he assistant dean.

"I think coming to this campus you’re going to have that small college feel," says Eans. "We are smaller by design than the main campus. It’s going to be accessible, friendly faculty and staff, and you’re going to know more students," he says.

He and his wife Jodi met here in Maryville about three years ago and have been married a year and a half. "She teaches first grade at John Sever Elementary. That’s how she’s able to put up with me. She deals with 22 screaming 6-year-olds. I’m pretty easy to get along with after she’s had a day of that. Or, she’s able to deal with me better because she deals with screaming 6-year-olds."

Here is Bill Eanes:

What was your most embarrassing moment?
"I was dating my wife at the time and we were on a date to the aquarium in Gatlinburg. We were taking pictures, and I crouched down to get behind an exhibit and I heard this tearing sound. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the evening with my shirt untucked to hide the gaping hole in my khakis. This wasn’t first date but within the first month."

Why did you pursue the career you chose?
"During college, I worked in some of the administrative offices, and I really enjoyed working with faculty and staff that practiced a "student-first" philosophy. I was the first in my family to complete a college degree, so I see myself in a lot of the students I deal with. It’s very rewarding to hear them tell you how education has changed their lives."

What was your first paying job?
"I used to cut keys and engrave plaques and trophies for a little kiosk inside the Sears store in Bristol. It was incredibly boring and not much fun, so I didn’t last long. I also spent eight years selling shoes, so I’ve heard every Al Bundy joke there is."

What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
"Funny, dorky, sarcastic?you only need one? I’ve got a bit of a class clown in me and I like being able to make people laugh."

When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
"Like many boys at 5, I felt like my time would be best spent divided between careers as a police officer, bull rider and professional baseball player."

What’s the best thing about Blount County?
"Hands down, it’s the location. We’ve got a National Park in our back yard, great school systems, and neighborhoods where you still get to know your neighbors."

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
"I would probably try to be a little more patient, especially while I’m driving."

To what do you attribute your success?
"Any successes I’ve had in life can be directly attributed to my parents. My mom has spent her life helping others, and my dad is still the hardest working man I know. My brothers and I were instilled with a sense of right and wrong, but were also allowed the freedom to make our own choices. We were expected to make the right decisions and when we didn’t, we were expected to learn from our mistakes."

With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
"I would love to sit down and talk to all of my grandparents. Unfortunately, I lost all of them by the time I’d reached my middle teens. I would love to have the opportunity to speak to them about our family heritage, listen to them tell me stories about my parents, and appreciate the goodness I’m sure their lives were filled with."

What do you hate?
"If I had more of the patience I’d mentioned previously, this probably wouldn’t be so bad, but I do have some issues with bad drivers. I’m not saying I’m perfect, but for goodness sake, would it kill you to give a signal?"

What’s your favorite quote?
"Dream as if you’ll live forever; live as if you’ll die today." - James Dean

If you won a big lottery jackpot, what is the charitable donation you would make? How would you splurge?
"I would make a large donation to Pellissippi State for a new campus in Blount County. This county is way overdue a new facility, and I can only imagine the educational possibilities it would provide the citizens of the county, not to mention the enrollment growth we might see. As far as splurging goes, I’m sure there’s an address somewhere in the Caribbean I can have my mail forwarded to a few months out of the year."

Would you travel in space?
"Yeah, I think it would be a really interesting adventure. To see the entire world from space would really put our lives as little bitty human beings into perspective."

If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
"I would absolutely love to visit the late 1950s. My parents were in high school, hot rod cars were the craze, and the music was very, very good."

What character in a book or movie would you most like to be?
"Any of the fraternity brothers from the movie Animal House; they seemed like a nice bunch."

Coke or Pepsi?
"Neither. I’m a sweet tea kind of guy!"

If you were King for a Day, what edict would you immediately pass?
"Four day work weeks, no questions asked. Any business caught violating the law would be fined immensely."

What is your favorite animal and why?
"I like lions. I’m a Leo, so that may be why. They are very regal animals and while mostly docile, you just ought to know better than to mess with them."

What is the best present you ever received?
"When I was 8 or 9, I got a Lionel train set for Christmas. It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. I played with it for a while, but then was worried my brothers would mess it up, so I put it all back in the box. It’s actually still at my parent’s house, hopefully just increasing in value."

What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
"Have faith and if it’s meant to be, it’ll be" is the one I remember most."

Did you ever get paddled in school and if so, why?
"I think I averaged about one a year from kindergarten through fourth grade, and I’m sure at the time I felt I was unfairly accused. Looking back now, I’d say I deserved every one of them for being so mischievous."

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