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The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Couples on Campus: The Peckhams

Courtesy of Rachael Peckham
Rachael and Joel Peckham are both professors in the English department at Marshall.

Romantic love finds a home within the literary passions and pursuits of two members of the Marshall English department. 

“Have you tried unplugging it and plugging it back in,” Dr. Rachael Peckham, English professor  and author, asked. Playfully, she said, “I play secretary sometimes.”

Dr. Joel Peckham, English professor and author, successfully established a connection due to Rachael’s suggestion–a testament of the pair’s kindred spirits. 

“Rach has a lot of patience,” Joel said. “I knew I needed Rachael to survive.” 

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The pair met during their time at Hope College, Rachael said. 

“I was a bit intimidated by him and his classes,” Rachael said. “Rumor was they were difficult.”

Rachael and Joel’s relationship sparked after Rachael reached out to Joel following a violent car crash. 

“She got my attention,” Joel said. “We developed a relationship from there.” 

The duo married in 2007, a day Joel said was otherworldly due to the lack of pain flare-ups from lingering injuries from the accident. 

“Right before the ceremony, the pain just went away,” Joel said. “It really was just magical.”

Likewise, Rachael said what she remembers most is the overwhelming support the couple received in correlation to attendees at the wedding despite the rampant snowstorm. 

However, not every moment was pure ethereal bliss, Joel said. 

“Rach and I were out for dinner in Athens, and I had cut her a piece of chicken, and it fell in her water glass,” Joel said. “I was not suave.”

Nonetheless, Rachael said she found the incident endearing. 

“He was trying to be nice, so it was like half a chicken breast,” Rachael said. “The water splashed.” 

Beyond that awkwardly amusing date, the pair now lean more towards domestic activities. 

The couple spends their evenings decompressing and watching shows together–for the most  part. 

“I wait for Rach to go to sleep to watch anything fantasy,” Joel said. 

In addition to watching television, Rachael and Joel like to cook and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. 

“We are just generally happy to share the same space,” Rachael said. 

Both Rachael and Joel said marriage presents its occasional challenges and requires work. 

“If you’re lucky, it is the most fulfilling work you can do,” Rachael said. 

One key aspect of a successful marriage is respect, which is especially important in regards to the couple’s work, they said.

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