“The Greatest Place on Earth” started at ECC

Megan Huibregtse, Staff Writer

Professor Jeffrey Weisman’s office. (Gwen Sihanath)
Jeffrey Weisman with a copy of his newest book, “The Greatest Place on Earth.” (Gwen Sihanath)
English Professor Jeffrey Weisman talks to an Observer reporter about his newest book.
English professor Jeffrey Weisman speaking about his newest book.

Jeffrey Weisman is an English professor at Elgin Community College, but some people don’t know that he is also a published author.

Weisman acquired his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado and has been teaching at ECC since 2002. As a professor who teaches English composition classes, Weisman has a love of writing. He created something from that love: a book called “The Greatest Place on Earth.” This fictional book was released on June 21, 2021.

“The idea was to try to capture, from my perspective, what it felt like to live in America during the first two years of the Trump administration,” Weisman said. “The premise of the book is that someone working for something called ‘The Bureau’ approaches this psychology professor, asking him to go to this town that’s called ‘The Greatest Place on Earth’ to figure out why, seemingly, the people who live in the town have gone crazy.”

According to Weisman, “The Greatest Place on Earth” is a metaphor for America.

 “The entire work itself is an allegory. All the different figures in the town, which is this tourist town that’s known for being a circus attraction place. All the different representatives of the town, everyone he’s working for or meets, is some kind of allegory for a different person working in the Trump administration,” Weisman said.

When asked about his writing journey and how he connects his teaching with it, he gives a quote of “the only thing you can bring as a writer is you.”’

Authors like Weisman have families, jobs and personal lives, but that hasn’t stopped him from writing.

“If you believe in doing something or you want to do something, you need to find a way for it to be,” he said.

Weisman said that he creates his own time and space for himself to write. Getting up early and a having routine is something that motivates him.

“Writing is a process. You have to make time for it and be willing,” he said.

As for future writings from Weisman, don’t expect anything to be published soon. According to Weisman, he is still reveling in “The Greatest Place on Earth,” so he has an unknown future with books right now. He is in the middle of a writing project currently, but there is nothing big planned yet.