Larry Bloom Q&A

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Sep 092007
 
Authors: Laura Anderson

Q. How long have you been at CSU?

A. I am starting my 33rd year.

Q. What got you interested in psychology?

A. I was a premed major as an undergraduate at Arizona State, and I wasn’t smart enough to do well in science classes, and I found I was smart enough to do well in psychology classes. How do you like that for an honest answer?

Q. Do you feel like you are known for teaching the psychology of human sexuality class on campus?

A. For some reason I am associated with that class-probably because there are 400 students in it. I only do that in the spring and summer.

Q. Do you think it’s an important class?

A. I think it’s a significant class at the university because the subject matter is an integral part of life.

Q. What topics are covered?

A. Sexual anatomy, physiology, psychological theories of sexual development, sexual deviations, alternative forms of sexuality (alternatives to heterosexuality) abortion, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual education, ethics, sexual assault, sexual misconduct-to name a few.

Q. Have you had any awkward moments in class?

A. Yes. Several years ago I was teaching a class and within the first five minutes the door opened and a guy with a gas mask on his face and his body painted came up to the stage, and he had no clothes on. I would say that was an awkward moment. I stood there, I was in shock, and then he ran out of the room. [Another awkward moment] is that during the topic of childbirth one of the films I show is one of my sons being born by cesarean and occasionally I had some students faint. I would say that’s an awkward moment.

Q. Do you feel like you get criticism from conservative groups for teaching a sexuality class?

A. Yes. Well, students come from different backgrounds and different value sets. Human sexuality, because of the topical area, is a course that has a heightened ability of touching off emotional reactions in people, just because of the subject matter. As a consequence at times the course does present challenges to people because of their values and life experiences.

Q. What’s your favorite class to teach?

A. Psychobiology. These are brand new freshmen and it’s very small. I really think I’m in a position to make a pretty big impact on them. The human sexuality class is fun, but it’s a tough class to teach.

Q. Is the human sexuality class always full?

A. Yeah. We frequently turn away 400 to 600 students.

Q. What are some of your hobbies?

A. [They have] evolved over the years. I like to cycle. I was a runner for 37 years, but then I broke my hip in an accident in the fall so I can’t run anymore. I was a very involved mogul skier for twenty-some years. I ski and snowboard occasionally but not like I use to. I like to ride my motorcycle (Harley Davidson), and I like driving my sports car.

Q. I know your son plays football. Did you have any impact on that?

A. Well I was Jeremy’s first football coach and coached him from the fifth grade to the eighth grade. I also, at an early age, taught him to ski moguls and he’s a two-time Olympian mogul skier and three-time world champion. I saw him achieve all that, and I kind of helped that process along a fair amount.

Q. I bet! Did you play football when you were younger?

A. (I did) in junior high school. I was a wrestler but loved all sports.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A. I’d like to make some comments about my children. My oldest is a daughter named Molly. She does two things. She lives in Hollywood, Calif. and coordinates one of the largest poker games in the United States. There are a number of stars play in her poker game . She’s also an international art dealer out there. My second [child], Jordan, graduated from CSU. He’s now in his first year at Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia. He’s a first year med student. And then the youngest is Jeremy. He’s presently a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Q. You must be a proud dad.

A. I’ll tell you this: Right now, and it could change tomorrow, all three of my kids are living their dreams. People really say to me, “aren’t you Jeremy Bloom’s father?” (because Jeremy is the most well known). So it’s almost like I don’t have an identity anymore because I’m the father of this famous kid. But what I have to say about that is when a parent loses their identity in the reflected glory and achievement of a child then every day is father’s day or mother’s day, or whatever the case may be. I mean that’s the greatest. And I would say that for all three of my children.yeah, I’m pretty proud.

Q. What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?

A. Making money to pay the bills.

Q. What is the most rewarding part of your life?

A. The fact that I feel my life has had purpose and meaning and it still does, and I’m not just going through the motions. I don’t have to look back and wonder what this was all about-I kind of know. So it was good I wasn’t smart enough to be a physician.

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