Dr. Tingey teaches classes on “Faust” and “Beowulf.” Courtesy utulsa.edu

See me after class

See Me After Class is a weekly column where a different professor reveals their variety favorites.

Dr. David Tingey is an associate professor of German and comparative literature who received his Ph.D. at the University of Washington in St. Louis. Beyond being an erudite professor, Tingey is an incredibly interesting man, having lived in East Germany when the Berlin Wall fell and played guitar in his own alternative rock band in Seattle whenever bands like Soundgarden were gaining traction. Tingey’s “Faust” class has been one of my favorites in my time at TU.

What’s your favorite book? What book would you say all undergrads need to read before they graduate?

My favorite book is Dostoevsky’s “Brothers Karamazov.” Everyone should read Goethe’s “Faust.” Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” is really powerful, too, but it’s a short libretto (set to the most beautiful music).

What’s reading like for you? Is there a specific setting, mood, drink set-up?

Usually, I read in bed in the morning. Nothing fancy.

Is there a movie/show that you always return to?

The TV shows I watch over and over again are “MASH,” “Seinfeld,” “The Office,” “Big Bang Theory.” Anyone who has had a class with me also knows I’m a lifelong “Star Wars” fan (episodes IV-VI).

What was the last book/movie/show that you actually found funny?

I rewatched “Red” recently. What a great cast. I hope Bruce Willis will overcome the aphasia and be able to act again.

What’s your favorite Tulsa restaurant? Do you have any food/restaurant routines?

My favorite restaurant is El Tequila. I love Mexican food.

Is there a media/pop culture/entertainment/music side to you that students wouldn’t expect?

I have always liked to read books written for young teens, especially fantasy: C.S. Lewis’s “Narnia” series, Brandon Mull’s “Fablehaven” series, Harry Potter, Tolkien, Michael Scott’s “The Secrets Of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel” series. As mentioned earlier, I’m a big “Star Wars” fan. I did not like episode 8, and I blame 9’s shortcomings on 8. I even enjoy “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels” cartoon series. (And don’t tell anyone, but I enjoyed “Solo” and “Rogue One.”)

If you had to pick three songs for a Playlist of Your Life, what would they be?

This is the most difficult question you’ve posed. I’m going to give five: (1) Thomas Dolby’s “Europa and the Pirate Twins,” a song of the 1980s expressing hope for an eventual reunification of divided Cold War Europe (I was in East Germany when the Berlin Wall fell). (2) Foo Fighters’ “Learn To Fly,” a Faustian striving and search for knowledge, music, freedom, love, and redemption. (3) Weezer’s “End Of The Game,” a search for the music and a tribute to the great Van Halen (R.I.P., EVH). As I’ve grown older, The Beatles’ “In My Life” has taken on greater meaning. It’s John Lennon’s look back with fondness on the people, places and things in his life, with a reminder that the loved ones of the present far outweigh those figures of the past. And I love and share the optimism of Howard Jones’ “Things Can Only Get Better.”

Could you say more about your music/band past?

I played guitar and bass guitar in an alternative rock band in the mid-1980s (1984-1987) in Seattle. We called ourselves “The Buskers.” We had a saxophone, trumpet and trombone in the band. At dances we covered songs from The English Beat, The Police, The Clash, Modern English, Tears For Fears, The Romantics, INXS, the Blues Brothers, The Beatles and played our own stuff. We recorded two “albums” over two years with about 15 original songs. We were invited to an hourlong radio interview at KCMU (now KEXP), one of the early independent alternative rock stations in Seattle, housed in a small space in the basement of the Communications Building at the University of Washington. KCMU’s motto was that if any other station started playing a band’s music, they’d stop playing it. This is the station that first played Nirvana’s debut album Bleach. (Apparently, Kurt Cobain hand-delivered to this station himself the demo for the band’s first single, “Love Buzz.”) Each Sunday evening, the DJ would interview a band and broadcast several of their songs. They played our music and introduced us to Seattle. I remember at the end of the interview, the DJ closed by inviting listeners to join him again the following week when he would interview the next new band, Soundgarden. No one had ever heard of them at the time, of course. No one knew in 1987 that grunge would be the next big breakthrough in rock music. Needless to say, my band’s rock-with-a-horn-section sound was not what would go on to revolutionize rock.

Post Author: Julianne Tran