Write a little about yourself. Just a paragraph will do.
Me? Summarize myself? Egad. In grad school I had a contract,
supplemental to my fellowship, to teach one course one semester
each year. For one of those courses I developed a unit on
summarization. But while I'm not bad at talking about myself or
writing about myself, I'd rather not try to put together anything
as comprehensive as a quick portrait. Instead, I'll share a few
things and let you make what you will of them. With retirement
looming ahead it seems worth talking about other times I have
switched gears in life.
I closed a business and returned to school at 32. I had intended to
finish the last two years of my BA, get credentials for teaching
English in high school, and learn Spanish sufficient to read Latin
American fiction in the original. But I had too much fun learning
and continued immediately for three years in a Ph.D. program. While
I chose not to continue beyond that time, I remain proud of the
decisions and commitments this entailed and the lessons I learned
about the work of following one's path/deisres/dreams.
More than a decade after that experience I tired of the supervisory
side of my work as a non-profit and social services program
manager. I spent two years as a potter, until a shoulder injury two
weeks before the Fremont Fair made me recognize how precarious that
career could be. So now I am once again well established in a more
conventional career, finding challenges and opportunities for new
learning while managing to avoid the supervisory chores I had found
What I’m doing with my life
Don’t overthink this one; tell us what you’re doing day-to-day.
After several years where most of my life outside of work was given
to being caregiver and major lifeline to the world for my mother,
2011 has been a time of recovering the joys and activities that I
had deferred. I began doing pottery recreationally again several
months ago (and was pleased to find that while some of my skills
had eroded, the pleasure of making pots had not). I starting
playing golf again a few weeks, amazing playing partners and course
staff by playing with wooden woods. My p-patch looks better than it
has in years, and weather willing will be a source of both good
eats and good times over the next few months. Haven't been
listening to live music much yet or going to the theater, but that
too should start up again soon,
The other key part of my life is preparing for retirement and
assessing how I will want to spend it when it comes in the next
couple of years. Right now the planning is still more of a fun
exercise most of the time. But it does impact current decision
quite frequently, such as whether to set up my own pottery studio
or wood shop at home, knowing that I would almost certainly not
have room for it if I moved.
And of course there is this dating stuff.
I’m really good at
Go on, brag a little (or a lot). We won’t judge.
Making life a self-teaching opportunity.
Getting over it.
Making personal decisions that balance risk and benefit, and
supporting those decisions with action, introspection, and a
willingness to live with consequences.
Laughing, though I may be better at making others laugh.
Musical parody (you should have my Bush version of My Country Tis
of Thee, which began My Country tis of me, what need of liberty. Of
me you'll sing).
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Help your potential matches find common interests.
I look forward to a decent percentage of any of these things being
enjoyable and worth my time. So while I understand that the point
of the question is to tell you something about me, the most telling
thing I can say is that I hope the next book read or movie I see
will give me something to think about, laugh about, talk about, and
otherwise enjoy on its own merits and not on some cosmic rating
For somebody who nearly made a career out of Victorian fiction and
poetry, and who returned to school to better read modern Latin
American literature, I sure don't read much fiction these days.
What that experience taught me more than anything else is that all
good writing is fair game for enjoyment. It is the language and the
attempt to communicate something of value through all the richness
of language that makes reading a pleasure. So I still love works by
Carlos Fuentes, Vargas Llosa, Marquez, Machado de Assis, Dickens,
George Meredith, and others and reread them occasionally. When I
was younger I craved John Cheever's novels and stories, Malamud,
Bellow, and others. Now I read mostly essays, science writing, and
travel writing. An example of something I really enjoyed is "The
Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction" by
David Quemmen. It deals with timely and critical things, combining
deep research, clear, complex, and compelling arguments, and an
I haven't been to many movies or plays lately (see What I'm Doing
with My Life, above) but I am hoping to catch the Seattle Opera's
Porgy and Bess. Now Gershwin, he's a favorite.
The six things I could never do without
Think outside the box. Sometimes the little things can say a lot.
The Northwest Folklife Festival
Good radio: KBCS, BBC online, KING
My Kindle (which I expected to despise and still distrust but which
makes reading so physically easy on my aging eyes)
My cedar-shaded bower of a patio, where I am now, listening to the
chirping of the neighbor birds and preschoolers
Something to learn, practice, make, appreciate, fix, understand,
conceive, or any combination of the above.
My passport, mostly unused but ready for action
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