Have you ever planned to be a ballerina or an artist, just to come to college and realize you’re your dream job was just not practical? Well, never fear Collegiettes™, Campbell English Professor, Dr. Elizabeth Rambo was in same shoes when she was in college. It took Dr. Rambo a couple of tries before realizing her dream of being a teacher. From Africa to Scotland, Dr. Rambo is also an avid world traveler who is especially passionate about anything dealing with Arthurian Legends, Chaucer, and Celtic Studies. When Dr. Rambo is not teaching Campbell Collegiettes™, she can be found watching Hollywood movies or reading.
Where are you originally from and where do you currently reside?
That is a hard question for me. My parents were missionaries in Africa when I was growing up. I lived in the mountains of North Carolina until I was 10. I finished high school in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I would say I’m from NC as much as anywhere. I currently live in Lillington, NC.
Please tell me a little bit about yourself.
My parents were missionaries for over twenty-five years in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. My parents are now retired, but my dad still works part time. My brother is a high school English teacher. My sister is an x-ray technician; she is married to a former marine pilot. I have three nephews and one niece. I don’t have any children, but I do have two cats.
Where did you go to college? What did you study?
I went to Saint Andrews Presbyterian College for my undergraduate studies. I received my Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Missouri-Columbia. I also received my PhD in Medieval Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My PhD minor was Celtic Studies and I learned to read Old Irish; I’m pretty rusty now though.
What is your favorite memory from college?
Being involved with drama; I did a lot of behind the scenes work. I acted once, in Antigone, but I think that I was better at behind the scenes work.
Have you always wanted to be a college professor? If not, when you were younger, what did you want to do when you “grew up”?
No, I originally wanted to be artist. I entered college as an art major but changed to English after I decided that I wanted to be a poet. I quit for several years after I finished my Masters and worked as secretary for a little while. I missed being around people who liked books and language, so I went back to school. I realized that teaching was the career path I was on.
Please tell me a little bit about the London Study Abroad trip this summer.
The London trip was a great experience. A lot of planning went into the trip. The trip would not have been possible without a lot of help from Dr. Waldron. We offered two courses: British Literature I and Arthurian Legends. We tried to go to places that reflected and supported the type of literature we were reading in those classes. While there we: toured the British Museum and British monuments, saw many artifacts and manuscripts, went to Stonehenge and Canterbury, visited Winchester--where we saw the round table and Jane Austen’s grave, toured Bath, witnessed the Queen’s birthday parade, and visited Glastonbury where King Arthur’s grave was rumored to have been found. I have been to London a few times before, but this was the first time in about ten years.
What was your favorite part of the trip?
My favorite part was visiting Edinburgh, Scotland for the first time. It is a very different kind of city than London. It was my first visit to Scotland. While we were there, we toured the castle, which is in the older part of the city. It offered some very magnificent views.
Is this your first trip with Campbell Study Abroad? How did you get involved?
Yes, it was my first trip with Campbell. Basically, I just put in a proposal for request to teach the courses, and my request was approved.
What is the hardest thing about being an English professor?
There are two main things. First, it is hard trying to engage students and convince them that they need to read and write and that those skills are of value to them. I want my students to know that they can enjoy reading and writing; these activities can be a source of enjoyment in addition to being useful skills. The second thing is having to grade papers. I don’t like to tell people that their papers aren’t well written.
Please tell me a fun fact about yourself.
I have a side interest in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” I wrote about this is in my book: Buffy Goes Dark, which I co-edited with Lynne Edwards and James South.
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
I want to spend more time in Scotland, visit the Northwestern United States, and learn to ride horses.
What is your favorite movie?
Casablanca; I think it is the perfect movie.
If you could give college undergraduates one piece of advice, what would it be?
Read the book.
What is your favorite thing about Buies Creek?
It’s quiet. Before this, I lived in Los Angeles for nine years; that made me appreciate the peace of Buies Creek.
Any more thoughts you would like to share with the students at Campbell?
There is a lot more at Campbell than people realize. Most people don’t take the time to explore the opportunities that are available. They would appreciate the school a lot more if they explored all the things that Campbell has to offer. I have been here for twelve years. When I first came, I knew that the school was going to grow and expand. It really has; the school is so much more beautiful, has so many more programs, and has so much more to offer. I hope that people appreciate what they have.