Philosophy of teaching:
Teaching is much like waiting tables for me. The restaurant, an old and venerable establishment, has fallen on hard times. The customers are famished, impatient and vexed. Never, have they dined in a fine restaurant before. They disapprove of their table, they hate to wait, they envy those already eating. It is, for me, nonetheless, a privilege and an honor to serve them.
They want no drinks. They want no appetizers. They want to eat and leave as quickly as possible. I bring them, compliments of the house, an hors-d'oeuvre to sample, and I tell them the story of how it was created, the very first time, by accident. It's appealing, it's appetizing, it's lightly salted. They change their mind about drinks and appetizers, and they order them, after all.
When it's time for the main course, they solicit my suggestions. I recommend dishes that will surprise and delight them, and I help them select wines that will complement their choices.
When the food arrives, they sample one another's, and they speak as connoisseurs. They dine and converse, and they forget about the time. They're too sated for dessert, but they order it anyway, just for the taste and just for the show; so I dim the lights and flambé it tableside.
After coffee and cordials, I give them a tour and regale them with tales of the restaurant's grand tradition. I see them to the door, and I leave them with my card. If they return, if they bring guests, if they speak of the restaurant as theirs, the service has done its part.
Trackman, 1973-74, Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac R.R.
Deckhand, 1974-78, Ohio River Company
Factory worker, 1976, Duro Bag, Covington, Kentucky
Merchant Marine, Great Lakes, 1978-79, Lake Carriers
Deep Sea, 1980-82, National Maritime Union
Magician, 1982-1985, South America, Ecuador to Tierra del Fuego
Waiter, 1985-86, Antoine's of New Orleans
Pitchman, 1987-89, fairs & carnivals, USA
Teacher, 1990-present: Lincoln Middle School, 1990-1995
Gainesville High School, 1995-present
Achievements & Awards:
Able-Bodied Seaman, Deep Sea & Inland Waterways, 1974-82
United Mine Workers, Ship's Chairman, W.W. Holloway, 1979
Street Magician, Ecuador to Tierra del Fuego, 1982-85
800 balloon animals in one day, La Paz, Bolivia, 14,000' above sea level
Beginning Teacher of the Year, School Board of Alachua County, 1990-91
Teacher of the Year, Lincoln Middle School, 1993-94
Teacher of the Year, Gainesville High School, 2000-01
ACEA Representative, Gainesville High School, 2000-02
ACEA Secretary, Executive Board, 2002-04
Graduation speaker, Gainesville High School, by student invitation, 2008
Graduation speaker, Gainesville High School, by student invitation, 2011
Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, 1968-72, English & humanities
University of Chicago, 1972-73, M.A., English language & literature
University of New Orleans, 1989-90, teacher certification
University of Florida, 1991-94, Spanish certification