So Whaddya Need to Know?

Would it help suck you into my world to have some background? If so, how’s this . . .

I was born in Beaufort, South Carolina forty-something years ago. (I’m old enough that it’s rude to ask for more details). My father was a career Marine Corps officer, and I spent much of my childhood moving between military bases, primarily in the Southeast, but with occassional forays northward (Long Island and Rhode Island) and westward (Kansas). I attended and actually graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis before going on to work for the Naval Reactors program for ten years in Washington DC, Idaho and Schenectady.

That’s how I ended up in this part of the woods, and I have to admit that I came kicking and screaming: Upstate New York was the last place I wanted to live. But, much to my surprise, I actually fell in love with the hereabouts, and left government service in 1996 to go into the nonprofit sector and to pursue some freelance writing and production gigs.

Since leaving the government, I have managed various fundraising, public relations and operations programs for the Albany Institute of History and Art (1996-1997), AIDS Council of Northeastern New York (1997-2000), Doane Stuart School (2000-2002) and the Rensselaer Newman Foundation’s Chapel + Cultural Center, which I’ve directed since fall of 2002. On top of those day jobs, I did a lot of freelance writing, much of it for Metroland, primarily as a music critic. I also hosted, booked and wrote for Time Warner Cable’s Sounding Board music television show.

Last year, I decided that my longterm aspirations might better be served if I got a Master’s Degree, so I enrolled and was accepted at Rockefeller College, at the University at Albany’s downtown campus. It’s been a rewarding process, thus far. I’m learning a lot, and getting some parts of my brain poked that haven’t been utilized in quite some time. It’s amazing how one’s political and policy glands can atrophy without regular stimulation.

As a grad student, I now find myself spending a sizable portion of my sentient hours thinking about college stuff. I am a student at the University at Albany, with student cares and worries. I work on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with staff and administration concerns and duties. I have a 16-year old daughter beginning the college admissions process, so I’ve got parental fears and trepidations. Finally, I am the president of my Naval Academy class, so I spent a lot of time mulling alumni responsibilities and obligations.

It’s an interesting balancing act, and I expect that it will provide a decent chunk of my blogging topics here, though I expect that I won’t be able to resist (or want to) the sorts of critical analysis and general cultural snarkiness that have been my public bread and butter for most of the time that I’ve been in this area and market. Plus pictures and even occasional poems (I’m inspired the most by absurdists like Ogden Nash and Edward Lear, so I promise it won’t get too heavy).

Does that help?

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