A portrait of Marc Weinberg. Courtesy Erin McGrady Photography.

More Than Just a Professor: An Interview with Marc Weinberg

It’s very seldom that you come across a professor with so much passion about their profession and about life in general. Dynamic, enthusiastic, and committed. Sets high expectations, doesn’t except anything less than 100 percent effort, but is also very fair. 

Most importantly though, Marc Weinberg goes beyond the call of duty and has a personal interest in his students. 

In February 2008, at the age of 60, Marc Weinberg decided to give up his very lucrative career as a government lawyer to dedicate himself to his long-held passion for photography. He was very well off and didn’t need the money. He made the decision because of his love for photography and his desire to give the experience to others. 

Weinberg fell in love with taking photos at the age of 8 years old, back in the city of Cleveland, on his Brownie box camera. While photographic tools have changed tremendously since then, his love for photography has not. 

“It’s still what’s behind the viewfinder that counts most — the photographer’s unique eye and vision and knowledge of camera operations and light,” he said. Weinberg turns what some would consider just taking a picture into a memorable experience, some lasting for a lifetime. 

I asked Marc how this semester was going with the Virtual Learning and not being able to be hands on with his classes like I know that he enjoys. His passion still hasn’t gone away, he’s just had to make certain changes to his approach. He said, “It’s harder to connect with classes because you can’t see their faces or pick up on their body language.” 

I always noticed how he picked up on the cues of the class, and he could tell by the energy of the room what direction the class was going to go in that day. There were days where things were going on in on community that were way bigger than anything that was on the agenda for that day, and Weinberg would address it before we even thought about picking up a camera. 

Whether it was politics, social injustice or anything else that struck a nerve in our hearts; he is a big believer in “right is right and wrong is wrong.” Weinberg is more than just an excellent photography teacher, he is also a believer in upholding the Constitution that he took an oath to.

There was never a dull moment in Marc Weinberg’s classes. You could tell by talking to him that he misses it just as much as us students do, maybe even more. I asked him if he could end this virtual learning and go back to the classroom today would he? His response was “absolutely not.” 

This answer surprised me at first, until he explained himself and then I got a better understanding of the professor. What most people don’t know is that Mr. Weinberg is 73 years old, even though you could never tell by looking at him or being in his presence. He also suffers from heart disease and had bypass surgery at the age of 52. 

However, he is on the waiting list for the vaccine, and he said that after he receives the vaccine then he would love to come back. He loves what he does for a living, but he also knows how dangerous this virus is. “It keeps changing and it’s something that we are going to have to live with forever.”

It’s hard for many to accept this reality, but that’s one thing that you have to respect about Marc Weinberg. He is always going to stand in the truth and accept reality for what it is. This pandemic has affected so many families and changed the way that we look at life. 

I never could’ve imagined that we would have to walk around in masks or be afraid to go to school just to receive an education. Thankfully we do have teachers who are willing to think outside of the box and come up with ways to still educate us online while continuing to keep us safe.

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