• LATEST: Ted Spiker's book, Down Size (Hudson Street Press), comes out in October 2014
  • LATEST: Spiker named interim chair of the UF department of journalism
  • LATEST: Spiker running with the Sub-30 Club at the Runner's World Half Festival in October
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PERSONAL

Like a lot of other boys, I played sports as much as I could growing up. I’d pull up my socks to knee level, morphing into Dr. J and fantasizing about the winning shot. But after it became clear that I had as much athletic ability as an ottoman (I scored 2 points during my entire 8th-grade basketball season), I had to make a change.

In high school, I did get on the football field. But it was at halftime. As a drummer. I played year-round—marching band, jazz band, wind ensemble, orchestra pit, everything. In college, though, I had to make a choice—continue with music or pursue my writing career. Though I’ve picked up my sticks only a few times in the last two decades, I feel, in a way, that I’m playing drums all the time.

Writing—and teaching writing—is all about understanding rhythm and pace and volume and knowing the best ways to tell a story.

I’ve been fortunate to work with smart editors, writers, teachers, and students, and I’ve been just as fortunate to spend my career writing about subjects I care about. Some other info about me:

Family: Wonderful wife, twin boys, three dogs

Vacation Spot: Nags Head, OBX, N.C.

Sports Teams: Gators, Blue Hens, Flyers, Eagles, Phillies, Sixers

Ounces of Steak Once Eaten During Contest: 76

College Nickname: Hoover

Must-See TV: The Office, Modern Family

Must-Read Writer: Gary Smith, Sports Illustrated

Food Favorites: Satchel’s pizza, Ivey’s blend, Burrito Bros. guac, Dairy Queen, mashed potatoes

Best Lucky Scrabble Play: 203 points (EQUATING)

Best College Job: Dressing up as Santa, Batman, Ninja Turtles, Big Bird, etc… for kids’ parties

Oddball Joys: Sweating (especially in steam rooms), organizing closets, sneakers

Big-Time Advocate Of: Therapeutic uses of ice

Education:

  • M.S., Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
  • B.A., University of Delaware

TWITTER @ProfSpiker