Jim Nehiley practices what he taught
by Elizabeth Kolsch
Thirty years ago Dr. James Nehiley, ADV 1972, traded in his surfboard for a pen, and he hasn’t put it down ever since.
A former surfer from South Beach, Miami, Nehiley now spends his time working on two books. The first book, A Barfing Dog Never Bites, takes a humorous look at life’s simple truths. This book is based on Nehiley’s own philosophies which he derived from Thoreau’s idea that “Your life isn’t a burden, it’s a recreation.” The title of the book, however, was inspired by a less renowned source. “I was looking for a snappy titled about life’s simple truths and one day when I went in the bathroom at Norman Hall, that title was written on the wall,” said Nehiley.
His second book, The Paradox of Paradise, is a Caribbean romance novel about self-realization and is based on Abraham Lincoln’s quote, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Nehiley retired in December as an associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences where he developed and taught a writing class. It was designed for students in agricultural sciences and over 56 consecutive semesters he taught more than 8,000 students in the course.
“My teaching philosophy was simple,” said Nehiley. “You can’t teach writing; however, with the right experiences, you can learn it.”
Nehiley earned an M.A. degree at UF in agriculture and a Ph.D. in communications at Florida State University.
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