Off the Record with “DC”

September 13, 2016

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Brad Clarke

Dr. Clarke in the classroom

Dr. Clarke in action around the Harkness table. Bonus points if you can identify the records featured on his wall.

One of the first things you notice when you step into Dr. Brad Clarke’s classroom are the records. He has shelves packed with vinyl spanning genres and eras. But this isn’t just some window dressing or off-limits collection. It is a teaching tool. “I look for music that will relate to philosophy, government, history, whatever it is I’m teaching,” says Clarke. “An artist like Bob Dylan has written dozens of songs that are political commentary, social commentary, and that can help students understand history and a perspective on history. Bob Marley wrote a song called ‘Exodus’ about migration, and that is one of our themes we are studying in Comparative Government. A lot of kids will get excited about bringing music into that.”


“An artist like Bob Dylan has written dozens of songs that are political commentary, social commentary, and that can help students understand history and a perspective on history… A lot of kids will get excited about bringing music into that.”


Clarke (or DC as he is affectionately known by a generation of students) has been teaching at Gould for 20 years. He still remembers his first piece of advice as a new teacher at Gould. “When I got hired at Gould I was at a BBQ for new faculty members and making small talk with some of the older teachers,” Clarke remembers. “Lucia Owen, who was the English Chair, said ‘I’ll give you one piece of advice. If you are going to teach at a boarding school, you have to love the kids as much as your discipline.’ I hadn’t interacted with high school students since I was in high school, but here I am twenty years later and that is what brings me back every year.”

Thanks, DC, even though The Times They Are A-Changin’ you stay Forever Young!


DC Q&A:

Name: Brad Clarke

High School: Westford Academy

College/Grad School:
B.A. University of Massachusetts, Amherst | Ph.D. Brandeis University

Proudest Achievement: Raising three great sons and a very special daughter

Dr. Clarke with his family after Gould's Commencement Ceremony in 2015. Pictured from left to right: Dr. Clarke, daughter Livy ’20, wife Beth, and sons Aiden ’15, Jeb ’12, & Caleb ’16.

Dr. Clarke with his family after Gould’s Commencement Ceremony in 2015. Pictured from left to right: Dr. Clarke, daughter Livy ’20, wife Beth, and sons Aiden ’15, Jeb ’12, & Caleb ’16.

Last book I read: EM Forster, A Passage to India

My soundtrack is: Europe ’72 (Grateful Dead)

Movie I would recommend: Darjeeling Limited

Favorite food: Coffee ice cream

One word that describes me: Calm

Best advice I ever received: “Follow Through” by my son Aiden

Why Gould?
Teaching and coaching Gould students is a blast, and I get to work with a pretty chill faculty.

What’s the last thing you crossed off your bucket list?
Hiking all 48 of the NH 4000 footers

"DC" & Beth check #47 off the list of 4,000 footers at the summit of Mount Carrigain in the White Mountain's Pemigewasset Wilderness.

“DC” & Beth check #47 off the list of 4,000 footers at the summit of Mount Carrigain in the White Mountain’s Pemigewasset Wilderness.

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3 Responses

  1. Avatar Isabelle Layman says:

    Crosby, Stills & Nash, by Crosby, Stills & Nash. Hatful of Hollows, by The Smiths. True Democracy by Steal Pulse. The Boy with the Arab Strap, by Belle and Sebastian. Come Fly with Me, by Frank Sinatra. Workingman’s Dead, by Grateful Dead.

  2. Avatar Andrew Siegel says:

    I decided to listen to The Boy with the Arab Strap one day because I saw the album cover hanging on the wall, and Belle and Sebastian has been my favorite band ever since.

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