Welcome to my website and my book. Before we get much further, I'd like to introduce myself and my thought process. I am an 85 year old curmudgeon, professional ne'er do well and trouble-maker. I wrote this book initially primarily for myself — validation that my life had meaning and purpose, and that I lived in accordance with my values. It was also a love letter of sorts for those whom my work had touched and who had, in turn, touched me most.
It's the kind of thing one tends to do at the end of one's life.
But a dear friend intervened, insisting that I had much to say that would be of interest to others, especially young teachers and educational reformers, and I should write the book with them also in mind. He was quite insistent about it. I fought him each step of the way, but he finally got his way.
Even now, I find it difficult to accept the possibility that anyone would be interested in my life and my work — not because I didn't think there is much of value in it that could be of use to others — but because I didn't believe anyone cares what I have to say. I'm not being cynical about it — nothing personal, either. That's just the way it is.
I have long felt that using the past as a guide, and drawing on the experiences of the elders goes contrary to the American grain. Gore Vidal once referred to the U.S.A. as "The United States of Amnesia." And in no area of human endeavor is forgetfulness more the norm than it is in education. But my ornery nature asserted itself. "Damn that maxim!" said I. And rather than deterring me, it only compelled me to write a book which would resonate for others. Did I succeed? That's not for me to say. I'll leave that up to you.