Thank You for Looking Further

You’ve found me.  Importantly, you have taken that extra step and followed a link from my resume, presumably to get to know me a little better.  So I will give you as much as I can without overwhelming you.

What have I done?  I am coming into a career in education, after what feels like a pretty fulfilling 15+ years exploring.  I’ve done many things, and spent time in many diverse cities, and in some other parts of the world.  I’ve driven a Zamboni, and coached hockey; from really young kids, 4-5 year olds, to really old kids, 40-50 year olds. I’ve sold, marketed, and curated mid century art and design; getting to personally know many of the great designers, like Val Bertoia, Ron Arad, Frank Gehry, and Karim Rashid. All while working in NYC, Miami, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and LA; meeting many other truly interesting people along the way.  Being able to speak with a designer, and ask them why certain decisions were made, or how do they organize their design process, was most enlightening.  I’ve worked with a diverse set of clients in investment real estate, learning different attitudes about the global economy, and their associated risk vs reward models, and seeing how different people look at urban growth, based on experience in other cities.

Why education?  I think like any endeavor, someone looks to devote a whole lot of time and energy to, I think I can add value.  I had a neighbor in Chicago, Joe Cytrynbaum,  who worked as an educator, and as founder of the Umoja Student Development Corporation in the Lawndale neighborhood, he was one of the happiest guys I knew, because he was consistently adding value to the lives of his students, helping them open up doors for themselves, and to realize their lives were not contained to the neighborhood they grew up in, but could grow out into the City and the World.  He wanted the best for everyone, so when he said he thought I should teach, I took it to heart.  

Usefulness.  I’ve always enjoyed working with kids.  My first experience was in high school, when I volunteered to coach intramural hockey, both a 4th-5th grade team, and the High School Recreational League.  What I learned working with kids that winter, was they all enjoy accomplishments, doing something useful to further a cause.  I experienced this again in the late 90’s working with P.U.C.K. (Positive Upliftment of City Kids), a hockey team for kids on the westside of Chicago that I helped coach, and who played at a Park District Rink I managed.  Because we were a rink in one of the poorest areas of Chicago, our zamboni would get taken away to be used at “more important” venues.  This could have been a negative, but the kids made it a positive, manually shoveling snow from the prior skating session off the ice, and working in perfect harmony to carry 5 gallon buckets of water across the ice to lay a new sheet; they were almost as quick as a zamboni with nearly identical results and each one shared in the accomplishment of putting down a nice sheet of ice to play on, and each one of them felt useful, sporting huge smiles as they worked. 

Alert and Knowledgable. So I am pursuing something useful, the chance to work with kids, and help them open doors for themselves, to see what is out there in the world.  I am finishing up my coursework at Millikin this semester, and start my student teaching at Franklin Middle School In Champaign, IL this spring.  My area of concentration is in Social Sciences, and I will also be earning an endorsement in Science, this spring.  My most enjoyable classes to date have been my Middle School/Adolescent Development Class with Mac Moore, and my American History classes with Dr. Walwik (he wrote a book on Franklin, one of my favorite founding fathers).  He gave us many original texts to read, and what strikes me most, is how relevant something like Joseph Harriot’s “Breife and True Report” over 400 years old can be so relevant to foreign policy today, or how Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and Ike’s exit speech are so interrelated, and Ike’s call for “an alert and knowledgeable citizen” is so important, and exactly what I want to help create.  

Diversity.  I have enjoyed attending discussions hosted by Parkland Student Education Association, and particularly enjoyed Mike Woods (a retired Urbana High Teacher) on student engagement, with the conclusion “whatever it takes” to get them talking passionately about the subject, is what is needed.  Hearing Senator Mike Frerichs explain the importance of spending money on constructing new schools, not necessarily because it is an absolute necessity, but because “it shows the kids we value education!”  Hearing a great diversity of thoughts is crucial to making informed decisions.  It is the reason for getting together and discussing ideas.

What Can I do for You?  I can become what you need me to be.  I will listen to your organizations needs, and work hard to adapt myself for the projects you need completed.  I will work to adapt curriculum to each students needs, looking for where their interests intersect with the schools’ and state’s goals, and helping them leverage that interest to meet progress goals.  Most importantly I am bringing diverse experience, perspective, and knowledge into the classroom, that can help students of various backgrounds, relate their education to their lives.

Parts of the page:

Family - Just some info on who inspires me.

ETC. - Links to clips I find interesting, relevant, or helpful.

Downloads - My resume, references, transcript, ICTS Basic Skills Test results


One Last Thing:  Why did I choose who I did to put at the top of this page?  It deals with their intelligences as classified by Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences and where I see overlap or at least appreciation within me.

Important People

From left to right: 

Salvador Dali: Spatial, Intrapersonal, and Existential.  Favorite quote "Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings." My favorite painting of his, more for its symbolism of the disjointedness in the world that Dali felt and in integration of modern atomic physics theory that nothing actually touches is Leda Atomica. 

Björk: Musical, Linguistic, Intrapersonal, and Existential.  Favorite Quote "Something important is about to happen."  Big Time Sensuality music video

John Lennon: Linguistic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Existential. Favorite Quote Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” favorite song Nobody Told Me

Mark Twain: Linguistic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Existential. Favorite Quote  "It is noble to teach oneself, but still nobler to teach others—and less trouble."  A good speech, Education and Citizenship

Mies van der Rohe: Spatial, Logical-mathematical, Existential. Favorite Quote Less is more. ”  Favorite evolution of this quote, from Bjarke Ingels "Yes is more." Favorite design;Farnsworth House for its simplicity and some of the gossip surrounding the client

Nikkola Tesla:  Logical-mathematical, Existential. Favorite Quote Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.”  When profit motives slow development

Buckminster Fuller:  Spatial, Logical-mathematical, Existential.  Favorite Quote "Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them."  and you have to love an optimist “By 2000, politics will simply fade away. We will not see any political parties.”  Dymaxion Car

Albert Einstein:  Spatial, Logical-mathematical, Existential.  Favorite Quote If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”