By Sam Smith – Staff Writer
University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) psychology professor Meenakshi Menon, who grew up in India, has just started her second semester of teaching at the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) and has acclimated to the colder and snowier climate.
Menon grew up in New Delhi, India and went to college at the University of Delhi to major in psychology. Menon said one of the things about the university was that, “you select one subject at the beginning of study and stick with it.”
After the completion of college, Menon moved to England where she taught at the University of Surrey. Menon said the climate in England is “overcast and constant drizzle. It’s nice to see the sun [in England].”
After teaching in England for three years Menon moved to Flordia and taught classes as a graduate student. “I taught classes in statistics, social psychology, and personality psychology,” said Menon.
While in Florida Menon saw an online ad for a teaching position at UMF. “An ad for the position was the first I heard of [UMF],” said Menon.
Menon knew where Maine was located, but had to look Farmington up on a map. “I heard it would be cold in the winter, but was not too perturbed as I had also heard that the heating is a lot better than in England.”
During her first year in England, she rented a 150-year-old cottage in a small village that had less than comfortable heating.
Since moving to Maine in August, Menon has experienced her first true snowfall. “I have never lived in an area that snowed so much. New Delhi is hot and tropical.”
Although the snow might be easy to adapt to, she has not become accustomed to the cold. “I try not to venture outdoors” said Menon.
She has been told that gaining an interest in a winter sport would allow her to enjoy the snow more. “I am currently gaining much skill, but unfortunately little interest, in melting-puddle-jump and frozen-sidewalk-navigation.”
The people, both students and faculty, are what Menon enjoys most about teaching at UMF and she plans to live and teach here long term. Last semester she taught three sections of Child and Adolescent Development as well as one section of General Psychology. She is currently teaching two sections of Child and Adolescent Development.