A Conversation with Marcia Glass | See previous interviews

Marcia Glass
Associate Clinical Professor

Marcia Glass

Tell me about your family, please. Are your parents physicians?

My dad’s an editor for the AP but he was a medic in the service and always threatened to try a tracheotomy on us kids, all sisters. My mom works for an NGO in DC. We grew up in London and Puerto Rico.

Where are you happiest?

On a horse jumping over something.

Are you athletic? What stirs those endorphins?

I like climbing up things and jumping off other things. Hopefully, there are ropes involved.

What courageous thing have you done recently?

Agreed to this interview.

With whom in real life, history, or fiction would you like to share an evening and why that particular person?

Winston Churchill. I love his quotes, the ridiculous retorts he made to people, and the fact that he never put up with nonsense. He was wicked smart and an exceptional leader. He was complicated, especially looking through a modern lens. I think I would have butted heads with him, but I also think I would have liked him.

Why is your particular outlook successful for you? Are there habits or behaviors that you think you should change?

My dad’s resolution every year is to not change anything about himself but this year, mine was to say only positive things about people. That broke down on New Year’s Day when my friend brought a really annoying person over. There are always things to work on!

Where do you get your sense of humor?

From my dad, he’s a little crazy, but my mom is pretty out there, too. When Bush won his second term, she decided to get a pet tarantula because she felt things were bleak and thought a tarantula would help her get through it. She did all this research, saying that tarantulas don’t bite until finally my dad said that it’d either the tarantula or him.

What is your guilty pleasure dessert?

What isn’t? I’ve really tried to live without dark chocolate. I even made it a month in Ghana, the chocolate-producing headquarters of the universe, on a dare with my husband. But as soon as I left, it was all over.

What frightens you? What might be the greatest misfortune to befall you?

Ironically, I am afraid of heights, yes, even though I climb things and jump off of them! I think I do things like that just to face my fears.

Describe a difficult hurdle you are most proud of overcoming.

I recently swam from Alcatraz to shore. We had to jump out of a boat and I kept thinking of the theme song to Chariots of Fire and the image of those guys running. I thought, “Just put your head down and keep swimming.”

Is your inner child a good kid or a delinquent?

I was a good kid who secretly wanted to be Eloise. Once in college, I convinced everyone that both of the large bathrooms in the dorm were out of order and put signs out. So around 60 students fell for it and either tried to shower in one tiny bath on the other side of the building, were late, or missed class while my friend and I took long leisurely showers. We felt terrible and later admitted the prank and they took revenge, shutting off the electricity to our rooms for several days.

Can you recall a piece of advice that was well intentioned and given in good faith but was something you’d never, ever do?

My Mom told me to marry my boyfriend in med school, and it would have been a disaster. I chose better.

Thank you, Marcia!

- by Oralia Schatzman

View Marcia's professional bio | See previous faculty interviews