Ron’s a native of Paris. That’s Paris, Texas.
Professor Ron Hoodin has been retired from Eastern Michigan University for 3 years after a 26 year tenure there. Ron had been an avid racquet ball player until sciatica sidelined him. While walking on the track at MLM one day he took notice of the pickle ball players who seemed to be having lots of fun. Soon after that Ron noticed Bill Wen on one of the courts by himself. He went down and asked Bill if he could hit some balls with him and, as he puts it, “the rest was history.” Yet another convert recruited by the “Ambassador of Ann Arbor Pickle Ball.”
Ron thinks pickle ball is the ideal sport for him because he can work out without being aware that he’s actually working out. It’s just a cool game to play – and so much fun because of the great people. The main challenge for Ron is to keep in mind that the game requires patience ,and that it is important to learn not to hit the ball too hard. Those are the shots that go astray.
Ron and his wife, Flora, were hoping to find jobs at universities that were in close proximity, and when EMU came up with an offer for both of them, that sealed the deal. Flora has a Ph.D. in psychology from Wayne State University. He has a Ph.D. from Penn State in speech pathology. Both taught at Eastern and their two sons both attended EMU. As Ron puts it, “for a few years, EMU was infested with Hoodins.” But, he adds, it’s a great university. He has enjoyed his colleagues and he describes the students as “spectacular people.”
Ron was drawn to the field of speech pathology because he realized there were basically two things that interested him – being in helping relationships and enjoying language with all of its nuances. He explains that speech is movement to make sound, while language is more cognitive. It is how one formulates what one wishes to say. In addition there is an area he refers to as communication skills, in essence, the ability to use both speech and language to effectively convey to others what we are thinking. And, as we all have learned, our communication skills can be an enormous asset or a significant deficit in how effectively we present ourselves to others. Ron says it is a real challenge to correct difficulties in any of these three areas.
Ron’s recreational interest, other than pickle ball, is sailing. He owns a boat and tries to sail 2-3 times a week. He describes the Caribbean as “an absolute paradise” and hopes to spend as much time there as possible. He has an arrangement to charter a boat in Tortola in January, but believes that may be cancelled because of the damage done by the recent hurricanes.
Ron Hoodin is 74 years old.