Thursday, 31 May 2012

Chatter Magazine's 20 Under 40

The June issue of Chatter magazine is out. This is its annual issue which features "20 Under 40" of Chattanooga's "mover's and shakers." While I was pleased to be included in this issue, I was disappointed with some of the material that the magazine printed about me (see below). It looks as though my highest degree is a master's of theology. There is no mention of the fact that I earned a PhD (by contrast to the other "doctors." featured). My wife quickly pointed out that there is an error about my family. It says under "Life-changing realization" that I moved to Canada with my wife and two children, even though only our eldest son was the only child that had been born at that time (our second son was born while living in Canada). I can only guess that the interviewer for this piece got confused with all of my moves--Florida to Vancouver to Scotland to Indiana to Virginia to Chattanooga. There is also the unfortunate quotation about me saying, "Now I'm making peanuts" at UTC. I don't recall saying those exact words in the interview. If my memory serves me correctly, I said that by comparison to my job as a financial consultant, I was making about one-third of my former income. Finally, I was surprised that the magazine quoted me saying that my worst job was working with some bickering "old ladies." Hopefully, the elderly community of Chattanooga does not teepee my house!

I am, of course, very grateful to be included in this popular issue, but I wish I could have seen the proofs for the magazine's report on me before it went to print.


Jonathan Yeager
Vitals: Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at UTC • Husband to Angela and father to Nathan, 8, Nicholas, 7, and Seth, 2
Life-changing realization: Convincing my wife to sell our house and move to Canada with our two small children so I could pursue a master’s in theology. Ever since high school I’d wanted to be in finance, and I had my dream job as a stockbroker in Florida. I was successful but I became disillusioned with the whole business – it wasn’t very fulfilling. Now I’m making peanuts doing what I love.
Proudest professional moment: I published my first book last year with Oxford University Press, a biography on 18th century evangelical John Erskine. I have a second contract with Oxford for a book on early evangelicalism that I hope will become a textbook.
Secrets to success: I’m not so concerned about success. I just try to have fun in what I do. I really enjoy teaching the students – they keep you young. I thought I was young until I made a Seinfeld reference and they had no idea what I was talking about.
Worst job: Working in a bakery at a grocery store. I had to get there at 5 a.m. and stand all day covered in flour. I also worked with these old ladies who would bicker all day.

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