S.11 E.2: From Dairy Farm to Pompeii Kitchen

Learning for Life @ Gustavus podcast host Greg Kaster interviews Gustavus alumnus and DePauw University classics professor Pedar Foss '88.
Posted on November 9th, 2021 by

Pedar Foss ’88, Professor of Classical Studies at DePauw University, talks about his path to Gustavus, classics, and archaeology, his research on the kitchens, food, and dining rooms of Pompei and Herculaneum, the amazing twists and turns of his current book project on Pliny the Younger’s famous letters, and the case for both classics and soccer.

Season 11, Episode 2: From Dairy Farm to Pompeii Kitchen

Greg Kaster:

Hello and welcome to Learning for Life @ Gustavus. The podcast about people teaching and learning at Gustavus Adolphus College. In the myriad ways, the Gustavus liberal arts education provides a lasting foundation for lives of fulfillment and purpose. I’m your host Greg Kaster, a faculty member in the Department of History.

In an update for the Gustavus classics departments newsletter seven years ago, a graduate of the program observed, “Classics has been my life and so has been both useful and amazing.” That graduate was and is Pedar Foss. And as anyone familiar with his distinguished career as a classicist knows, his observation was not mere hyperbole.

After graduating from Gustavus Cum Laude in 1988 with majors in chemistry and classics, Pedar went on to earn his MA and PhD in classical art and archaeology from the University of Michigan. Currently, he is professor of Classical Studies at DePauw University Indiana where he has taught since 1999 following teaching stints at Michigan, the University of Cincinnati, and Stanford.

At DePauw, he was the Edwin L. Minar professor of classical studies from 2008 to ’13 and has taught numerous courses on such subjects as Greek and Roman mythology, Hellenistic and Roman art and archaeology, Pompeii, Latin prose, Latin poetry, poetry to name just a few.

In addition to his teaching, he has also authored many scholarly articles, reviews, papers, and presentations. Co-edited a volume of essays titled The World of Pompeii, completed a book manuscript on Pliny and the Eruption of Vesuvius, participated in excavations and led archaeological tours abroad, edited for two premier archaeology journals, and served as dean of academic life at DePauw.

When not teaching, excavating, leading tours, or writing, Pedar enjoys biking, karate, and especially soccer of which he is a self-described fanatical follower. As all this suggests, he is a wonderful example of learning for life and the rewards of a liberal arts education and I’m absolutely delighted he could join me to talk about his path to Gustavus and then classics professor, Plinian Pompeii, the enduring importance and power of classics, and of course, soccer.

So Pedar, welcome to the podcast. It’s really great to have you on.

Pedar Foss:

Thank you, Gregory. I’m very happy to be here.

Greg Kaster:

Yeah. I think I certainly knew of you when you were at Gustavus. I don’t know how much our paths crossed that much. I don’t recall. I don’t think so. But you were certain… Kate and I, my wife, Kate, who taught here [inaudible 00:02:39] we’re certainly aware of you and your progress.

Yeah, it’s great to have you on. Thanks so much.

You’re in DePauw and as I am back teaching, are you in person now or hybrid or all online? How’s it going?

Pedar Foss:

Yes. We’re teaching live and the administrators here have done an amazing job of getting our many international students back here to Indiana. I think there’s only a handful left who haven’t gotten their visas yet.

Greg Kaster:

Oh, that’s great.

Pedar Foss:

And it’s really good to see students live in the classroom again. And I think they’re very happy to be here as well.

Greg Kaster:

Yeah, I agree. It sounds like me, you were online before. Or were you on sabbatical maybe? Is that what it was?

Pedar Foss:

I was on sabbatical last year. But of course, the spring half of 2020 was taught online, at least the last half of the term as we all panicked and ran to shelter.

Greg Kaster:

Right. And that’s when you were telling me before we started recording, you were actually in Italy, in London, it was January 2020?

Pedar Foss:

Yeah. I led a winter term which is our J-term trip for our men’s and women’s soccer teams where we went to England, we played against local opposition, and we learned about the Industrial Revolution and the social origins of the modern game.

Greg Kaster:

Oh, that’s really cool. Kate and I years ago, Gustavus maybe when you were there, Gustavus had a program briefly called Gustavus semester abroad and we’ve never been abroad except as little kids, but we created a course on the Industrial Revolution in England and then took Gustavus students. It was amazing. It was so cool. But we didn’t have the soccer component. So that sounds great but you got out of there. What a mess. Yeah, those two places.

Pedar Foss:

Yes. Just beforehand. And right after England, I spent a week in Italy because I was preparing to get an apartment for a sabbatical year in Italy. Everything look good.

Greg Kaster:

[crosstalk 00:04:40].

Pedar Foss:

I got the apartment.

Greg Kaster:

Was it in Rome or where?

Pedar Foss:

No. We stay in Perugia in Umbria. Wonderful location. We’ve lived there before. And unfortunately, of course, it all fell through.

Greg Kaster:

Yeah, that’s awful.

Pedar Foss:

But other people endured much worse so we are lucky that we came out okay.

Greg Kaster:

I’m glad you’re okay. I’m glad things are going well at DePauw because your alma mater is doing well too.

I’m back in person after 18 months. Same stories you just said. The students clearly love it. I love it. We’re masked. There’s a mask mandate still. Actually [crosstalk 00:05:14]-

Pedar Foss:

Just likewise here.

Greg Kaster:

Likewise there, yeah. Do you have the vaccine mandate also or not? I can’t remember.

Pedar Foss:

For our campus, yes.

Greg Kaster:

Yeah, we do too which was so far making a difference. Well, knock wood, it’s good to be back in person.

Tell me a little bit about where you grew up. I know dairy farm, am I right about that? Is in your background but other than that, I don’t really know much.

Pedar Foss:

Yes, that’s correct.

I grew up on a small dairy farm in the eastern part of Kennebec or Kennebec County depending on how you pronounce it and I went to a local school there, Hinkley.

Greg Kaster:

[inaudible 00:05:50].

Pedar Foss:

It was very much a farming life. Get up every morning early to milk the cows and during the evening as well. And I very much wanted to get out of there not because it wasn’t a beautiful place or I didn’t have amazing parents but I just wanted to see something else. And thankfully, my parents loved books and these huge collections of volumes and National Geographic Magazine so I just read a lot and imagine all the places that I never thought I wouldn’t end up seeing.

Greg Kaster:

And here you are. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this in other episodes of the podcast. I come from… On my mom’s side, she grew up on a farm in what we call downstate Illinois. Three sisters, no sons. But her aunt, my great aunt, Laura Oberweis, part of Oberweis Dairy, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of that-

Pedar Foss:

Oh, yeah. Cool.

Greg Kaster:

… in Illinois. I grew up eating their ice cream. I think now they still in operation but I think they get their milk from… They used to have their own cows and everything. But I think now it’s, I don’t know, milk taken from someone else’s cows.

But were your… Had your parents gone to college or not?

Pedar Foss:

My dad had been part of the first generation from his family to go to college and he went to the University of Minnesota and got a degree in electrical engineering and he worked at Boeing in Seattle on the very first cruise missile project-

Greg Kaster:

Oh, boy, wow.

Pedar Foss:

… writing technical manuals and that’s where he had met my mother but then they came back and he ended up taking over the family farm because he couldn’t stand sitting in an office cubicle and I can’t blame him for that.

Greg Kaster:

Well, there you go. He wanted to get out of that. You want to get away from the farm. How far back does the farm go? To his parents or [inaudible 00:07:48].

Pedar Foss:

Yeah, basically. The great grandparents all came over on the boat in the late 1800s from Germany and Norway.

Greg Kaster:

From Germany and Norway, yeah. I’m trying to think… Boy, my… Is the farm still in operation or…

Pedar Foss:

It still is, it still is. In fact, my mother is going to be featured on WCCO for a program on her goose garden. She’s gigantic living sculpture of flora and sculpted fauna-

Greg Kaster:

That’s great.

Pedar Foss:

… that represent the life ways and culture ways of the Native American population-

Greg Kaster:

Oh my God.

Pedar Foss:

… in Minnesota.

Greg Kaster:

That’s fantastic. That’s excellent. I’ll look for that. WCCO TV or radio or both?

Pedar Foss:

It was a program on TV that’s going to be coming out in the spring.

Greg Kaster:

That’s exciting.

I think my cousin’s still [inaudible 00:08:45]. Anyway, the farm is still in the family against my mom’s side and in theory my brother and I guess own some pieces of it but it’s now no animals these days. It’s just soybeans and… Yeah, yeah.

Pedar Foss:

It never really paid anyway at any time.

Greg Kaster:

Yeah. No, people who know far, my God, it’s hard work. Talking about small family farms. I remember coming to Gustavus in the ’80s during the farm crisis and literally having some students in the office crying as their parents were being foreclosed on.

Pedar Foss:

Those were very tough times. I have to say, though, in terms of hard work and learning how to work hard for a long period of time with no remuneration is actually a valuable skill. And all those times I was picking rock to clear the fields little did I know I would be picking up rocks in a different way on archeological sites much later.

Greg Kaster:

That’s great. I love that.

I couldn’t agree more with you about the work ethic. I just have one sibling. Younger brother. He and I were working in my dad’s and my mom’s also beauty salons that they owned as cleanup boys and we were paid “25 cents” an hour is something. But wow, the work that… I’m so grateful for that to this day.

You’re growing up there. How did you decide to come to Gustavus? So was it a decision or one of your… Your dad didn’t go. I don’t know about your mom.

Pedar Foss:

Yeah. Interesting. You mentioned beauty salon because that’s what my mom did on the side while on the farm.

Greg Kaster:

Oh, really? Oh, wow. Oh, yeah.

Pedar Foss:

That’s the only degree that she had.

Greg Kaster:

Oh, that’s neat. We overlap then.

Pedar Foss:

Yeah.

But I applied to the University of Minnesota because my dad had gone there and I was interested in science. I was a big science fair geek and I went to International Science Engineering Fair twice in high school and that was my big chance to see some place else and it was really interesting to me and because there was another kid in school who went to Gustavus. He suggested to me through his sister that I should apply and I said, “Well, why not? I’ll go ahead and do that.” And I did.

Gustavus gave me a better deal than I could get at the state school. I’d never been there. I hadn’t seen it or anything but I decided to go and I’m sure glad I did because all the opportunities that were offered there really changed everything for me.

Greg Kaster:

Yeah, I want to talk a little bit more… Hear you talk a little bit more about some of those opportunities. But it sounds like you had heard of Gustavus, you just hadn’t thought of applying.

Pedar Foss:

That’s right. I didn’t think it was possible for someone from a small farm to go to what seemed to me a fancy liberal arts school.

Greg Kaster:

Right.

Pedar Foss:

But I was very wrong. They were very open.

Greg Kaster:

Yeah, it’s funny how I’ve learned that over the years. Some people would still see Gustavus that was just elitist or elite but not. Well, it’s elitist and that anyone who goes to college in the United States is a small group of people but in other ways no.

I had not heard of it growing up in the burbs of Chicago but I sure had heard of Jim McPherson and Sidney Ahlstrom who are two great historians. Jim still with us, Civil War historian, who went to Gustavus. As soon as I heard that, I said, “I’m in. I’m applying. Definitely.” My advisor told me, “Excellent school,” and I mentioned those two guys, “Oh, my God, really?” But yeah, I’m in and stayed ever since.

What was it? I can now understand why you majored in chemistry because you had an interest in science already.

Pedar Foss:

That’s right, yeah.

Greg Kaster:

What about the…  I assume when you were picking up those stones in the field, you weren’t thinking, “Well, I’ll be an archeologist one day,” but how did the classics interest come about?

Pedar Foss:

Well, I began taking Latin in my first semester for two reasons, one, because I thought it would help me with my chemistry studies with terminology, etc.

Greg Kaster:

Sure.

Pedar Foss:

There was also a language requirement so I had to take some language and also because my mother had gone to a Catholic high school and she would sometimes throwing these little Latin phrases around the house and I just thought it was cool. I thought it would be interesting and so I gave that a shot.

I have to say I wasn’t a very good student my first year. I didn’t study nearly hard enough. I spent far too much time playing Dungeons and Dragons with my new friends. On the other hand, what that experience did was not only integrate me socially into an institution where I didn’t really know anybody except for one fellow student who I had seen at science fairs. He was my roommate, my first year, and who is now a professor of chemistry.

Greg Kaster:

Oh, wow.

Pedar Foss:

But it taught me how to begin to tell stories and that practice in building and holding narrative has turned out to be invaluable in the teaching field as well as in publications. One never really knows does one.

Greg Kaster:

No, and that’s a major theme of this podcast. I love that. One never knows. I’m sure you too. The students who come in and sometimes their parents, but they want to know everything. They want it all figured out. No. No, no, no, no. Right? Be open and see what happens and you never know. Yeah, one never knows. That’s really neat. I didn’t know any of that.

I’m trying to see who it… Was the classic department basically the Will and Pat Freiert and Stewart-Marleen Flory at that point or…

Pedar Foss:

Yes, yes.

I really didn’t get to know Stewart and Marleen until later because they were I think in Rome for a year or two when I was starting out and I really just had Will and Pat who were incredible.

I eventually got better at Latin and I took Will’s mythology course where he taught me how to read like really read what’s behind and underneath and in between the letters in ways that I didn’t even know was possible and it was an epiphany in the true sense of the word and then after that, I just couldn’t get enough of it.

Greg Kaster:

Yeah. Boy, it’s the kind of reading I love to do, have always loved to do, and I’ll be podcasting with as Will I think in a week roughly and I’ll mention that.

Pedar Foss:

He’s a legend.

Greg Kaster:

Yeah, he’s a legend.

Stewart and Marleen both now, alas, no longer with us, were incredible mentors to Kate and me, informal mentors. There was no mentoring program at Gustavus. In some ways, just as well I think looking back.

Anyway, Stewart, Marleen, and Will and Pat in some ways as well.

What a great department. Oh my God. Just a fabulous, fabulous department. I’m always… When I say to your, not your colleagues, the current members of that department how I wish I had majored in classics. I certainly wish I had taken Latin. I don’t know. I took German in high school. I am not even sure Latin was offered. But my brother-in-law and his children all took Latin. They’re lawyers and it comes in handy in so many ways.

How did you get into archaeology? That already start when you were a classics major?

Pedar Foss:

Yeah. In 1987, we were informed that Gustavus was going to buy into a new excavation project in East Crete which is a project that was headed by three archaeologists, Leslie Day at Wabash College-

Greg Kaster:

Oh, yeah, I know Leslie, sure.

Pedar Foss:

Just up the road for me now.

Greg Kaster:

Leslie and Joe, yeah.

Pedar Foss:

Uh-huh (affirmative).

And also, Geraldine Gesell, the University of Tennessee, and Willie Coulson, who was at that time University of Minnesota, which is how I think Gustavus got involved and these participating schools could send a student or two to the excavations. And then of course, we would pay to do that.

I remember Will telling me about this opportunity and suggesting that I apply. I at first didn’t think it was possible because I didn’t think there was any way to afford it but it seemed like such a chance that I should try to do it. My parents were very supportive and did what they could and you take out the loans and you take a shot. I’ve never regretted anything that I’ve had to spend on education because it pays you back in so many ways you don’t expect.

Greg Kaster:

So true. So, so true.

Pedar Foss:

I was able to go on the dig. The first day we did a hike of the mountain and did a survey of the sites that we would be working at and hike past some tombs and I climbed in one of the ninth century B.C. tombs because why not? It was there and I was curious and I thought that was the most wonderful walk I’d ever been on. The next morning, we got out, measured our trenches and started to dig and it was a bolt of lightning. I knew at that moment that this is what I had to do. It was really strange and then it was just a matter of, “Okay, so how do I actually do it?”

I worked really hard on the dig. At the end, I was able to supervise my own trench at the end of that season and that was really fun even though it was obscenely hot that year. It was one of the worst heat waves in Greek history. At one point on our site, it went over 50 degrees Celsius.

Greg Kaster:

My God.

Pedar Foss:

Which is almost 130 degrees.

Greg Kaster:

Yeah, that’s unbelievable.

Pedar Foss:

We were melting literally. We were melting.

Greg Kaster:

You’re not supposed to be able to survive that. My God.

Pedar Foss:

Especially digging out in an exposed mountaintop and you had to bring all of your own water up by donkey which is what we did and you ran out of it quick enough.

Greg Kaster:

I can imagine. How old were you at that point? 19? 20? You were young, right?

Pedar Foss:

Oh gosh, yeah.

Greg Kaster:

Was it your-

Pedar Foss:

I was probably 20. Almost 20.

Greg Kaster:

So that bolt of lightning, I wonder… This is always hard to think. I think about this as a respect to my own interest in history but as you were… Has that bolt of lightning hit? What is it about archaeology that grabs you so much? Maybe not as much as soccer. I don’t know. Maybe more. Maybe the same.

Pedar Foss:

Different but I think it is that it’s endlessly fascinating at least for me because it’s unremittingly interdisciplinary. Having to learn things all the time to solve a puzzle about the past where most of the pieces are destroyed. The pieces that are left are jumbled, broken, incomplete, or biased, and out of that mess, you have to construct a story about how people lived and you have to use all your wits and all of the angles available to you to find hints and evidence to make that story come to life and you never get there.

Greg Kaster:

Right, right.

Pedar Foss:

There’s no final narrative. It’s always being built and retold and repeat.

Greg Kaster:

Right.

Pedar Foss:

I don’t know. I feel a connection to it in a way that sometimes I feel a lot more connected to the past than I do the present. Maybe because with the past at least one has some perspective.

Greg Kaster:

Yeah, gosh. This is… I’m sitting here smiling. You can’t see me, I have a big smile on my face because that’s essentially what a historian does with different kinds of evidence. We might have more… Well, we’re not working… Some historian work with archaeology, of course, and you’re doing historical work. But yeah, I tell my students the past, I don’t know, whatever it was, if it existed, we can’t recreate it. It’s impossible. We can try to get as close as we can. The evidence is always incomplete no matter how much evidence there is.

In your case, I think some people think, well, archaeology, “I can rebuild the past,” right? But no, that’s a really important point that you made that it’s never finished, you never get there, I think is what you said, and that’s important.

How did you… Actually, before we go into grad school, let’s talk a little bit more about Gustavus. What are some of the other memories or opportunities that stand out in your mind when you think back aside from Dungeons and Dragons, Latin and archeology? What else? You were taking chemistry courses. I don’t know if you took any actual history courses but what… Or just in general, what curricular… What are some of your memories, fond or not?

Pedar Foss:

No, mostly fond. It’s such a social place and that was wonderful for me. I’m an introvert and pretty shy so it was an important developmental time for me to be able to talk to people I didn’t know and that was made possible by the welcoming nature of Gustavus.

I will admit that I participated in the social weekend scene sometimes to an extent that I regret now a little bit. But at the time, it seemed the thing to do. I never joined any fraternities but our group of friends created not an anti-fraternity but a nonfraternity. Basically, our mantra was that all you have to do is show that you were alive and you can join.

One spring, we went to the rock in the middle of the night and we stripped off all the layers of paint with scrapers and turpentine because we were tired of the Greek organizations advertising themselves on the rock and we just taped a little sign on it said, “Help, I couldn’t breathe. The Rock.”

Greg Kaster:

Excellent. And for the listeners-

Pedar Foss:

And it made the paper.

Greg Kaster:

And for the listeners who don’t know, the rock is on campus and painted by… Which side? The east of Old Main? I’m trying to think. Anyway, yeah, that’s a great story. Made the student paper.

Pedar Foss:

Yeah. People found out about this mystery organization that no one else knew existed and we just had a good laugh. We got chased by campus security at the end. They found out about us but we were faster than they were.

Greg Kaster:

That’s an excellent story. I love that. Yeah, I don’t know what crime you’re violating for taping. What rule-

Pedar Foss:

Yeah, is that statute of limitations still intact?

Greg Kaster:

Exactly. Oh, man.

It’s easy… Yeah, some students go overboard with the social but the point you made earlier and just now too about actually how important that is for students who are shy or not and learning how to integrate and interact with other people.

That’s certainly true of me. I was very shy. My mother was shy. I was shy. I was so shy that when I went to Northern Illinois University before classes started for a weekend. What would have been called? Weekend orientation. Except for the required events, I stayed in my room. I was too shy to go and eat.

Pedar Foss:

Oh my God.

Greg Kaster:

And I literally for, I don’t know, maybe ’70s, I can’t remember, I didn’t eat. I didn’t eat. I just didn’t eat. I couldn’t bring myself to go interact with all these people I didn’t know.

Pedar Foss:

Yeah.

Greg Kaster:

So I can relate. But that’s important that part of… And that’s part of college, right? No matter how much professors might bemoan. It’s a part of… Always has been in this country if not everywhere.

You stuck with a chemistry major. Was your identity more, “I’m a collab…” have you started thinking of yourself as a classicist already by the time, let’s say, you’re a senior? Are you thinking of graduate school in classics already? Or was chemistry a possibility as well?

Pedar Foss:

No, I was terrible at chemistry. I was. I wish I weren’t but I’m always embarrassed to say that I major there because I don’t think I really deserved it.

I remember my professors in chemistry being so patient and saying, “Well, maybe you could do conservation because that uses chemistry in the service of archaeology.”

Larry Potts and Brian O’Brien were so generous and understanding. I think they saw that my path was going to go somewhere else. One of the best things that someone can do for you sometimes is just let you go.

Greg Kaster:

Exactly.

Pedar Foss:

But I really appreciate them. I took a lot of chemistry courses at the beginning so that I only needed one in my senior year to graduate to get the major and it was a January term. I think it was an organic II class and for some reason, I don’t know how I passed it. But I think they just were ready to have me move on and somehow, it happened. But it’s very blurry.

Greg Kaster:

It was a mercy passing. It’s a…

Pedar Foss:

It was mercy pass, yes.

Greg Kaster:

Oh, man. I love that. I love it. “Maybe you could think of conservation.” Yeah. That’s great.

At what point did you know you were going on to graduate school in classics?

Pedar Foss:

Well, I knew the summer that I was on that dig because when I had that bolt of lightning then, there were graduate students who were on the project and one of them was my first supervisor, Kevin Glowacki, who was at Bryn Mawr at the time and I talked to him a lot as well as to other people like Donald Haggis, who’s now at University of North Carolina, about, “What you do? How do you do this thing? You guys are graduate students and how did you get there?” and they gave me some really great advice.

Oftentimes, we get so much from those who are just in front of us plowing a path and-

Greg Kaster:

Yes, that’s right.

Pedar Foss:

… and they make it possible. I just soaked everything up. When I came back to Gustavus, I realized I just had to load up with languages not just Latin but I needed to start taking Greek and French and German because those are required to do archaeology in graduate school and I had been told that the previous summer and it was great advice because it was the preparation I needed to apply.

Greg Kaster:

It was something you just said is I think also really important. It’s especially important to maybe people like you and me. My mother went to a two-year teacher college, my dad didn’t go to college and what did I know about graduate school? And only because of exactly what you just said, knowing some people who… Meeting some people already as an undergraduate who were in history, the history grad program in Northern, but then also the professor’s there, my undergraduate professors helping me and encouraging, I wouldn’t have known. I may not even have known to apply.

But really important… Were you going to say some? Go ahead if you were. I don’t want to cut you.

Pedar Foss:

Oh, I just want to make one other point is that I was also advised to join the Archaeological Institute of America which one wouldn’t think of doing as a student but actually, it brings you into the community of practice.

That December, Joe and Leslie and the others were presenting a paper at the annual meetings of the Archaeological Institute in New York City. I decided I wanted to go to those meetings because that way, I could also meet representatives of the various graduate programs to whom I was applying and this would give me some information about them and also, they could learn about me because this is all pre-internet, of course. Everybody’s just working from course catalogs and making phone calls.

So I did. I think it was Professor Robinson in psychology who was-

Greg Kaster:

Oh, Tim Robinson?

Pedar Foss:

Yes. He was in administration at that time and he funded my trip to New York which was amazing. I had never been there. And so I got to go. I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, of course, and then just went to all the papers I could and just try to meet with as many people as I could because I was nobody. I didn’t know anybody except for the others who were on the excavation who were there for the paper.

But at the end in one of the sessions in the paper, they showed the figurine, the little figurine that I found in my trench-

Greg Kaster:

Oh, wow.

Pedar Foss:

… up at the top of the mountain that previous summer and it was just a nice little nod along the path that maybe this was going to work out.

Greg Kaster:

Yeah. Oh, that’s great. That’s a great story. Gosh, I wish we had enough money, we, the college, the department, our history [inaudible 00:32:11] to take our majors to conferences like that because I think as an undergraduate to experience, especially if it’s in a city like New York, you’ve never been to before. But that must have… That’s a huge deal for a kid who grew up on a dairy farm and then is also an introvert and shy, there you are, you’re putting yourself forward.

So you go to Michigan. What was your dissertation work like? I assume you write a dissertation, right?

Pedar Foss:

Yeah.

Greg Kaster:

Even though you’re doing archaeology. Yeah. What was it focused on?

Pedar Foss:

At Michigan, I did my dissertation on the kitchens and dining rooms of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Greg Kaster:

Oh my God. I love that. Oh, my God. That’s great. Tell me more. I love food. I love kitchens. I did a stint in a restaurant here in St. Paul. I’d written up some [inaudible 00:32:59]. Anyway, what did you find?

Pedar Foss:

It was sparked by a visit by Andrew Wallace-Hadrill who at that time was professor at Reading in the UK and he was giving a lecture in Michigan. It was about the social structure of the Roman house and he was a social historian who use archaeological evidence and was getting a lot of press for his new book.

So I went and I was fascinated. At the end, I went up to and asked him, “That’s really fascinating.” And then I said, “Where are the slaves?” And he said, “I don’t know.”

Greg Kaster:

Oh, wow.

Pedar Foss:

And that was what I then tried to find out because my idea was to look in places in the house if you could find evidence archeologically. There would be in places where the slave and free members of the household would be interacting or interfacing in some way and I wanted to look at the kitchens which would be mostly where the slaves would be at least during dining times and the dining rooms where the free members of household would be or with their invited guests and to compare and contrast what that look like.

I got permission to work at the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum and spent an entire summer finding all of these places, first of all, in 14 city blocks worth-

Greg Kaster:

Wow.

Pedar Foss:

… of, in the urban fabric, just work from morning to night. Got there as soon as the site open and went home when it closed.

This was something I learned that was really useful to me. At the beginning, even though I had all the letters and permissions for the authorities, nobody wanted to let me see anything because they didn’t know who I was.

Greg Kaster:

Sure. Right.

Pedar Foss:

So I just kept showing up and kept showing the papers and sometimes I get a house and sometimes I wouldn’t and then I’d keep waiting but if you just a persistent and you’re there all the time and they see that you’re serious-

Greg Kaster:

Exactly.

Pedar Foss:

… and you’re working hard and you spend all the possible hours that you can, by the end, all I had to do was tell a guy with the key, I said, “Can you let me in there?” And he would say [crosstalk 00:35:10].

Greg Kaster:

You’re in, yeah.

Pedar Foss:

And I didn’t need to ask anybody anymore because now I was somebody who was meant to be there. That was not anything that you’d learn in a book.

Greg Kaster:

No. I have a somewhat analogous story. It’s not anywhere near the same or as momentous.

But Kate and I are in a community garden and the first year, this is maybe five years ago, we had to meet with a master Hennepin County gardener and I could tell he thought, “These two know nothing.” I left that meeting thinking, “I don’t want to do this.” But we busted our butts and literally, I don’t know, several weeks after we started working in the garden, we get the okay to use the key to the shed, we get into the garden shed. I was in. Whoa. And it literally was just showing that we were serious, exactly what you just said, and willing to do the work.

Back to the kitchen. Tell us. These are elite Romans, I assume?

Pedar Foss:

Well, I was interested in the entire spectrum of society in these city blocks.

Greg Kaster:

But I mean the homes are the homes-

Pedar Foss:

Yeah, because mostly people had just been talking about the big fancy houses, the professor from Reading was just talking about the big fancy houses. So I looked at every place where people are living-

Greg Kaster:

I see. Okay.

Pedar Foss:

… and looked at the evidence for cooking and eating because I wanted to see how things changed as you moved up and down-

Greg Kaster:

Oh, that’s neat.

Pedar Foss:

… the scale as it were.

One thing that was interesting was I found a cultural con… What would you say a cultural constant and that is no matter how big or small the domicile, 10% of the square footage of every home was going to be dedicated to cooking and eating and it was true all over the place.

Greg Kaster:

No matter…

Pedar Foss:

There were certain basic need there. Other than that, the larger the houses, the further apart these two things got. The separation between the activities of creating a meal and consuming the meal became ever more distant from each other and ever more ceremonialize and I thought that was also-

Greg Kaster:

No, that’s fascinating.

Pedar Foss:

… interesting.

Greg Kaster:

So if we could go back in time and see one of these kitchen spaces, what would it look like? There’s no Viking refrigerator.

Pedar Foss:

What you would have is you would have basically a mid to low bench made out of masonry and brick that would have arches that would be supported by arches or by small walls. Underneath those spaces, you would have fuel to do the cooking and that top surface of those benches would be tiled with heavy tile.

And then on top of those would be tripods and small ceramic stands and they would be building fires on top of the surface, like a barbecue, and then just cooking there. There would be vents in the walls or ceilings to let out smoke and it would often be near the water source for the house whether that was a cistern or well or a branch of the aqueduct where sometimes people were able to… They would actually pirate lines to the aqueduct. Take off some of the water for their house.

Greg Kaster:

Like doing it with cable today, whatever.

Pedar Foss:

That’s right. It’s ingenuity. But also in the same space, you would have the latrines which seems that wouldn’t belong but you’re putting all of your water and fire and drainage together in one place of the house.

Greg Kaster:

And how many… Absolutely fascinating. Thank you. How many slaves would be working in a… Let’s say a modest household or a modest, not an elite. How many slaves would we be talking about? The slaves would they be specialized? Or these are the slaves who work in the kitchen? Or…

Pedar Foss:

Yeah, it would depend on the house, of course, and the family. But yes, slaves generally have specialized tasks. Something that’s important to say about slavery in ancient world is that it had nothing to do with where one came from, one’s origin or-

Greg Kaster:

Color, right.

Pedar Foss:

… cultural affiliation, anything like that. It was simply you were taken in war or you were captured by pirates or bandits or you had to sell yourself into slavery because you owed money or you were born into slavery. Those are the four ways in which that could happen. But guess you would have highly skilled individuals be tutors, they would be the teachers for the young, free members of the family. You’d have others who would be doing economic business. Others would be doing what we would call maybe menial tasks, bringing in supplies, getting rid of debris and trash and stuff.

It was more possible in the Roman system than in many systems to gain freedom and those who did then would often still stay affiliate with the family because they had made their business and economic connections through that family.

Greg Kaster:

Just briefly, how would one obtain freedom?

Pedar Foss:

You could buy it and slaves often had served, we would say, second jobs where you could earn money on the side either with the blessing of the owner or in spite of the owner and sometimes, the owner would grant the freedom themselves because of you would say good service. Those are the two main ways that it would happen.

Greg Kaster:

Thanks. I talk a little bit about this just a little bit because in doing U.S. slavery, it’s such a different system in some important ways than the one you’re describing.

Back to the kitchen and eating again, I feel about kitchens and food and eating the way you do about soccer, I guess. Fanatical. Where do they obtain the foodstuffs? Is there a garden right there? Or they go to a market? How does it work?

Pedar Foss:

All of that and more. You have a fairly well developed system of food distribution in Roman, Italy at this time. There are certainly local and even house-based gardens especially for herbs and things like that. The soil around Mount Vesuvius is incredibly rich because of the volcanic nature of it and it could grow food most times of the year so you had lots of vegetables, lots of lentils.

The main foods that people ate for calories were grain, olive oil, and wine. Those are the big three that you would have. People would drink wine in diluted form because that would guarantee that you wouldn’t get any nasty bugs and that was the main source of death in the ancient world was dysentery from intestinal infection so it was a good way to keep even children from dying was to make sure that they drank some level of alcohol as youths.

They would supplement that with fish and seafood especially in the Bay of Naples were important sources of protein. It was a relatively nutritious diet and we know from the skeletal evidence that the stature of Romans living in the Bay of Naples in the Roman period was in fact taller than that of Neopolitans in the early 20th century.

Greg Kaster:

That’s fascinating. Wow.

So the Mediterranean diet sounds healthy-

Pedar Foss:

Yeah.

Greg Kaster:

… in some ways.

Pedar Foss:

It is pretty healthy.

Greg Kaster:

This may be a dumb question but were there cookbooks or can you find recipes anywhere or not? [inaudible 00:43:48]-

Pedar Foss:

Yes.

Greg Kaster:

Yeah?

Pedar Foss:

In fact, we do have an ancient recipe book credited to someone named Apicius. He was supposed to have existed around the time of August late first century BC, early first century AD.

The recipes are probably mostly later but they are quite good. They include things like a really good recipe for asparagus which I remember Pat Freiert actually preparing for us once and it was delicious. But then they also had stuff to dormice which are a small rodent that live in Central Italy. That was a delicacy and birds, a songbird that have been stuffed and roasted and you get some quite elaborate and decadent recipes for the jet set as you will.

Greg Kaster:

Wow. And is it Apicius did you say?

Pedar Foss:

Apicius.

Greg Kaster:

Is that Epicurus, related to Epicurus? Is that where the word-

Pedar Foss:

No, no.

Greg Kaster:

No, different. Different.

Pedar Foss:

Epicurus is a philosopher and Apicius is… Yes, it’s different.

Greg Kaster:

Completely different. Okay. Thank you.

Fast forward to now, you’re working on… You just completed this book manuscript and the title alone sounds I’m already… Pliny and the Eruption of Vesuvius. Talk to us a little bit about that. What that research is involved and again, without scooping yourself [inaudible 00:45:19] comfortable with what some of the findings are.

Pedar Foss:

Right. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, there was a young man who was 17 years old who saw it happen and that’s we call Pliny the Younger.

Greg Kaster:

Pliny the Younger.

Pedar Foss:

His uncle, he was also named Pliny, whom we call the elder he was the admiral in charge of the Western Imperial fleet stationed at Misenum which is at the west edge of the Bay of Naples. Pliny the Elder was also a famous writer and had just finished his natural history, 37 volumes of everything anybody knew about the universe that he had dedicated to the Emperor.

And so when the eruption happened, the Elder sailed off to investigate it because here he got actually to see a natural phenomenon of an eruption firsthand. He was probably going to revise his book and at the same time, he got a rescue message from a friend saying, “Help, come rescue me.” And so he went with the fleet to do both things.

He ended up dying the next morning in the last pyroclastic density current that splurged out of the volcano and he died at Stabiae in the eastern corner of the bay and his nephew was left behind at Misenum and he escaped from that town with his mother running away from the same dangerous cloud. But by that point, they were so far away from the eruption that they were okay.

But he wrote two letters about this. Pliny the Younger wrote two letters in Latin about this eruption event and how they’ve been very famous, some of the most famous descriptions that we have from the ancient world. And they always appear in every book that you ever read about the sites.

I started to worry that they were taken a bit too much for granted and taken for face value so I decided to consider a book that was based just on those letters. What did they say? What could we learn about them? How can we connect them to what we know about the archaeology and the volcanology of the event?

Nothing like that had been tried in English before. There was an Italian publication that had done it in ’80s but I was not really prepared for what it would turn out to be. It turned into something quite different from what I thought but better.

Greg Kaster:

How so?

Pedar Foss:

Well, because as I looked at the text, I realized that I didn’t know where the texts came from.

Pliny wrote his letters and he published them probably in several phases and then, of course, throughout the Medieval Period, some of the things were lost, different editions were copied here and there, errors got introduced into them. And then in the early 1400s, the Renaissance movement started to look at all this again, recopy things, tried to investigate the history of all this, and so on and so on through the printing revolution down to our own day.

There had been studies of the manuscript tradition for Pliny and I didn’t want to do that because I really was an expert in it. My first year at Michigan, I had taken a class that had introduced us for a few weeks into the mysteries of the manuscript tradition but I thought, “Well, that wasn’t really going to apply to me,” and I didn’t really pay that much close attention. In here, I found myself realizing slowly that I need to know whether the text we have been circulating in Latin actually was the text or whether it wasn’t.

Greg Kaster:

Right.

Pedar Foss:

And so reluctantly, I decided to investigate that and I had to learn a lot of stuff from scratch. I had to learn how to read medieval manuscripts in Latin which I didn’t know how to do. I had to learn all of the scribal abbreviations and learn how to read different handwritings from different parts of Europe, which was hard and often frustrating.

And then I decided the only way to do this was to think like an archaeologist. I got out my Excel spreadsheet and I started to make a spreadsheet of readings that were different from one manuscript to the next. And then I realized I needed all the manuscripts and all of the printed editions and compare them and I didn’t even know how many there were.

I was able to find some that people didn’t know existed or thought were lost by tracking them down again, archaeology came in handy here, and then just painstakingly go through them over and over again because I would find different readings or variants that actually were significant and nobody had noticed before because in the past, people had done the manuscript tradition had maybe looked at four or five or at the most 10 manuscripts and there are 80 of them.

Greg Kaster:

Oh my gosh, wow.

Pedar Foss:

Not even counting the printed editions.

Greg Kaster:

Were you able to look at all 80?

Pedar Foss:

79.

Greg Kaster:

Wow.

Pedar Foss:

I have digital copies of 79 and I know where the 80th is, who has it, and I know pretty much when it was written and I also know it’s not the most important one for my study. But that is quite a story, if you will indulge me all to tell that.

Greg Kaster:

Yes, please do.

Pedar Foss:

It’s 2019. It’s August and I’m in Chicago. I’m in Chicago in the suburbs because my son who is now a Gustavus playing soccer-

Greg Kaster:

Oh, great.

Pedar Foss:

… was at a ID camp for college soccer recruiting and while he was out there on the fields, I was in the hotel room trying to work on this book project.

I had been trying to find this one lost manuscript which had disappeared from view in 1962 after it had been offered to Yale University to buy and Yale had declined to buy it and then it just vanished.

I knew who the dealer was, who had had it but the dealer had long since passed away and in fact, the dealer was the same guy who had flogged that Vinland Map, you know-

Greg Kaster:

Oh, yeah. Sure, of course.

Pedar Foss:

… the one of North America that was a forgery? It’s the same guy.

Greg Kaster:

Wow.

Pedar Foss:

I know.

I find out via the marvels of the internet who his surviving relatives are and I try to track down their addresses and I send a formal letter to all of those addresses just hoping that someone will know.

I get back an answer actually online from an email and says, “Yes, I’m the daughter and we don’t have any more of his books,” because I thought it might still be in their possession. “So I don’t think we can help you.” And I was not surprised really. But then 30 minutes later, I get another email and it says, “Well, as it happens, some of his ledgers where he kept track of his sales. Some of them we happen to preserve and laminate for placemats for our kitchen table so we can remember Dad.”

Greg Kaster:

This is amazing.

Pedar Foss:

And she said, “Maybe one of them has your transaction on it.”

And so I told her what to look for and then I got back a picture. Sure enough, there was the text. I knew who it was sold to, I knew when it was sold, and this was a dealer who was living in Switzerland at the time and he’s still alive today. I tracked him down. He had been doing lectures at libraries in Switzerland and Italy. I found his email and I wrote to him and I said, “Do you remember this manuscript?” And he wrote back and he said, “No, I don’t. Are you sure I ever saw it?” And I was distressed again but not willing to let go because I had some kind of a lead.

I started to ask around the community of collectors and I had recently been introduced to a Norwegian collector who had a copy of Pliny that nobody knew existed until it was pointed out to me by a colleague in England and he suggested a name to me. Via that name, I was able to track down the owner.

That day in Chicago, I had sent an email to this professor emeritus saying, “I’m looking for this text and I suspect that a certain person might have it whom you know. Can you find out?” And he writes back and I’m reading this in the hotel room and he says, and I wish I could do the British accent perfectly because it was a hilarious email. He says, “As it happens, I’m in my pajamas on the terrace in [inaudible 00:55:24] with the gentleman in question. And yes, he has the Pliny.”

Greg Kaster:

That’s amazing. Wow.

Pedar Foss:

It was just this bizarre thing to read and I still haven’t seen it because the pandemic intervenes and also, the gentleman who owns it, who I’m not allowed to say who it is.

Greg Kaster:

That’s okay.

Pedar Foss:

This is one of the conditions of knowing it exists.

Greg Kaster:

I thought that was the case which is why I haven’t asked, yes.

Pedar Foss:

Yeah. And because he doesn’t even know where it is. He has too many houses in too many parts of the world to know where the manuscript is and so I don’t know where it is. But at some point, I hope to be able to find it and look at it. [inaudible 00:56:11].

Greg Kaster:

What an amazing story. For students, you got to write this up at some point if you haven’t already. Seriously. Great story about research, there’s your work ethic, the persistence, and as you said, archaeology, excavating the texts.

You reminded me. There’s a… I love how you take something familiar and maybe it’s taken for granted those letters, but do something different with it. It reminds me of… There’s a scholar named Danielle Allen who’s done a book on the Declaration of Independence and she just writes about a course where she taught it slowly. Slow learning, slow reading. And it connects to the reading you learned with Will Freiert at Gustavus, right?

Pedar Foss:

Yeah, that’s right.

Greg Kaster:

Deep reading. It’s just terrific. And it sounds fantastic.

Can you tell us a little bit about what some of the themes are in the letters?

Pedar Foss:

Yeah, in Vesuvian letters?

Greg Kaster:

Yes.

Pedar Foss:

Yes.

Pliny the Younger is trying to do a lot of things with these two letters and it’s incredibly complex and that’s one of the things that took a long time to tease out.

But he is trying to do a funeral encomium for his uncle, honor his uncle, but in a strange way because sometimes he makes his uncle look like a doofus who doesn’t really know what he’s doing and doesn’t end up rescuing anybody and then just ends up dying and that’s because I think Pliny the Younger is doing a little bit of a one-upsmanship. At the same time, he is playing games with the reader.

He’s such a skilled writer that he is showing off what he can do pretending he’s a historian because he’s writing to a historian Tacitus who has asked him in the first place like, “What happened during the eruption? What happened to your uncle?” These two letters are a response to a genuine historian, the best historian of the Roman era, Tacitus, and Pliny and these two letters is showing Tacitus, “If I wanted to be a historian, I can do it too. I’m not going to because it’s too much work but I can show off in these two letters what I can achieve.”

They are epistolary, they are biographical, they are autobiographical, they are epic, they are history. He is just cramming the genres in. Lots of little poetic references, subtle nods to his uncle’s natural history science writing and all done in a way that all seamlessly and smoothly tells a story of his uncle’s dangerous journey and his own dangerous journey.

I really came to appreciate the brilliance of the composition and how carefully he did this under the guise of, “Oh, I just tossed these letters off [inaudible 00:59:20].”

Greg Kaster:

Of course. That sounds fascinating. I can’t wait to read the book. Seriously, it sounds absolutely fascinating.

And again, it’s just a reminder of how hard research can be, how much of it is a colleague, loves to say a colleague of mine at history department, serendipitous, that story you tell about the atheists [inaudible 00:59:41].

I know we’re… Go ahead. Yeah, go ahead.

Pedar Foss:

I’ll just mention one thing and this is probably the thing that people will most talk about when it comes out.

I also tackled the problem of the date of the eruption.

Greg Kaster:

Oh.

Pedar Foss:

Because a lot of people in the last 20 years have argued that it happened in October, a difference of two months as opposed to August which is when the literary sources seem to say it did and this has caused a lot of debate in archaeology and in history about which one it is and how do we know.

But I’m happy to say by going through the manuscript tradition, I can explain exactly why errors crept into the text and how that alternative of an October eruption date even came about and who was responsible for it and when and why it in fact doesn’t hold up.

Greg Kaster:

It’s August, it’s August, it’s August.

Pedar Foss:

It’s August 24 and I know some people would be very upset with me for making that argument but once they read it and see the evidence, I think it’s pretty indisputable that can’t be anything else and the archaeology right now isn’t precise enough in being able to nail down difference of months to prove otherwise even though I’m an archaeologist and I would love for the archaeology to say something. In this case, it’s not enough.

Greg Kaster:

But that’s fascinating. You’re using the textual record, right?

Pedar Foss:

Yeah, I examine all the evidence and all the arguments just to try finally to set that question to rest because it’s been such a hot topic recently and that was only possible because of that, digging around in the manuscripts and making the database of 160,000 data points-

Greg Kaster:

That’s amazing.

Pedar Foss:

… so that the patterns finally emerged that what I learned was that if you put enough data into it, you can start to see the transmission history and you know which text influenced another and that was pretty useful although I never wanted to do it again.

Greg Kaster:

Oh, it just sounds great. Yeah, the work of… Thinking so much about how historians were looking for patterns. But honestly, can’t wait to read it. It sounds fantastic. Sounds so interesting.

I’ve been to Pompeii just once both Kate and I and, I don’t know, I’m sure reaction was just so moving.

Haven’t they recently just uncovered some other bodies? I’m trying to remember what I read recently.

Pedar Foss:

Yes. They’ve been doing clearance work from 18th century excavations, stuff that wasn’t properly dug and they’ve been finding a lot of stuff. One of them was an inscription which seemed to indicate a later eruption date but it doesn’t really hold up. But yeah, they’re making… And there’s a lot of the city still left underground but we just have to be very careful and do a little bit at a time because it’s a finite resource and once you dig it, you destroy it and you can’t get it back.

Greg Kaster:

Yeah, so amazing.

As we wind down here, two final questions for you to respond to please and one is, make the case for classics. It’s 2021. Why should we care? What can we… The [inaudible 01:03:10] would you find it useful and amazing. I know that could be a whole podcast for you. And then the other one is, what is it about soccer that so intrigues you? So take it away.

Pedar Foss:

All right.

I think classics is good because it requires good methodology. It requires you to be deliberate and thoughtful in your engagement with the evidence because it is from such a long time ago in different languages far, far away and so you have to be at your best to try and engage with the material and understand it and that, of course, makes you a better scholar, a better thinker, a better writer, better communicator.

It’s also interdisciplinary and it’s also that critical distance where we can examine human problems which we still haven’t solved or shook off problems of social inequality, problems of dealing with people who are different than ourselves, problems of our purpose and nature in the universe, problems of how we express our identities and who we are.

All those things were being done by people in the past in this rich body of evidence that we are fortunate to have and by having students look at and engage with that evidence, they can address those questions in a way that’s a separate but not unrelated to themselves because it’s easier to look at what someone else is doing and then have that seep into oneself without having sometimes the very real and urgent trauma of one’s own predicament.

Greg Kaster:

That’s a great point. That’s a really great point you just made. Yeah, classics, you’re preaching to the choir here, couldn’t be more important and “relevant.”

Soccer. And are the two related somehow in your mind? Classics and soccer.

Pedar Foss:

Well, I learned soccer when I was on Crete. On my first dig, I would go and play with the local kids and I didn’t know what I was doing whatsoever. My first experience was playing on this gravel field with a bunch of the kids who were the workmen. They knew what they were doing, I wasn’t, but I was fast.

At one point, I got the ball away from everyone else and I had a breakaway on goal and I was so happy to score a goal. The keeper came out hard and fast and he dove in front of him and grabbed the ball with both hands just as I was striking it with my foot. The result of which because of the physics of momentum meant that I flew up in the air. It seemed like 20 to 30 feet but I don’t know how far and I’m sailing through the air and I’m slowly coming down onto what is a bunch of nasty, nasty gravel about to hit my face and all I could think of was, “This is wonderful. I love this game.”

It started there and I’ve been following it ever since. To my mind, beautiful soccer is improvisation on a theme. It’s jazz-

Greg Kaster:

Yes.

Pedar Foss:

… and I love jazz.

Greg Kaster:

I do too.

Pedar Foss:

That’s why I love the game.

Greg Kaster:

You had two major epiphanies in Crete. That’s a wonderful story.

This has been wonderful. Such a pleasure to speak with you and hear about your own story and your work and those epiphanies. Best of luck with the rest of the semester at DePauw, to all of us really in higher ed.

Pedar Foss:

Thank you, you too.

Greg Kaster:

We have a soccer team now and a good stadium at Saint Paul as I’m sure you know.

Do you have a favorite team? You follow a particular team?

Pedar Foss:

Yeah, my favorite team is Liverpool.

Greg Kaster:

I was hoping you’d say that.

Pedar Foss:

And there’re many times it’s a working class, a very down to earth city, and vibrant city of music and culture, international city, and the character of the city is reflected in the character of the team.

Greg Kaster:

Agreed.

Pedar Foss:

I’ve been to games at Anfield and that’s my spiritual experience is there in the stands singing the songs and yeah.

Greg Kaster:

I’m envious. We’ve been to Liverpool, never to a game, years ago when we took Gustavus students to England. But yeah, if I follow a soccer team, that’s it. There’s something about that city and I agree with you the characteristics of the city and the team. I read The Guardian and that’s where I go to news.

Pedar Foss:

As do I.

Greg Kaster:

Yeah, that’s where we go.

Pedar Foss:

That’s my go to news. So if you get a chance it’s possible to get tickets to Anfield. You will never regret it. It’s worth it completely.

Greg Kaster:

On the so called bucket list.

Pedar Foss:

That’s right.

Greg Kaster:

All right, again, take good care, Pedar.

Pedar Foss:

Thank you.

Greg Kaster:

Thanks so much. Best of luck with the book. Look forward to it coming out and let’s hook up next time you come to Minnesota.

Pedar Foss:

All right, go Gusties.

Greg Kaster:

Yes, go gusties. Thank you so much. Bye-bye.

Pedar Foss:

Thanks. Bye-bye.

Greg Kaster:

Learning for Life @ Gustavus is produced by JJ Akin and Matthew Dobosenski of the Gustavus Office of Marketing. Gustavus graduate Will Clark class of ’20 who also provides technical expertise to the podcast and me.

The views expressed in this podcast are not necessarily those of Gustavus Adolphus College.

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Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
jakin@gustavus.edu
507-933-7510

 

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