Don't Shoot the Gentile

Don t Shoot the Gentile When James Work took a teaching job at the College of Southern Utah in the mid s he knew little about teaching and even less about the customs of his Mormon neighbors For starters he did not kno

  • Title: Don't Shoot the Gentile
  • Author: James C. Work
  • ISBN: 9780806141947
  • Page: 396
  • Format: Paperback
  • When James Work took a teaching job at the College of Southern Utah in the mid 1960s, he knew little about teaching and even less about the customs of his Mormon neighbors For starters, he did not know he was a Gentile, the Mormon term for anyone not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints But just as he learned to be a religious diplomat and a blacWhen James Work took a teaching job at the College of Southern Utah in the mid 1960s, he knew little about teaching and even less about the customs of his Mormon neighbors For starters, he did not know he was a Gentile, the Mormon term for anyone not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints But just as he learned to be a religious diplomat and a black market bourbon runner, he also discovered that his master s degree in literature apparently qualified him to teach journalism, photography, creative writing, advanced essay and feature article writing, freshman composition, and vocabulary building With deadpan humor, Work pokes fun at his own na vet in Don t Shoot the Gentile, a memoir of his rookie years teaching at a small college in a small, mostly Mormon town From the first pages, Work tells how he navigated the sometimes tricky process of being an outsider, pulling readers no matter their religious affiliation into his universal fish out of water tale The title is drawn from a hunting trip Work made with fellow faculty members, all Mormons When a load of buckshot whizzed over his head, one of the party hollered, Don t shoot the Gentile We ll have to hire another one Today the College of Southern Utah is a university, and Cedar City, like most small towns in the West, is no longer so culturally isolated James Work left in 1967 to pursue a doctorate, but his remembrances of the place and its people will do than make readers Mormon and non Mormon alike laugh out loud Work s memoir will resonate with anyone who remembers the challenges and small triumphs of a first job in a new, strange place.

    One thought on “Don't Shoot the Gentile”

    1. Interesting account of a "gentile" English professor adapting to life and work in a LDS community during the 1960s.

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