My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
8/10. It was a good school. I had good friends. Nonetheless I always felt "out of it" and awkward. I wasn't a jock, didn't feel comfortable socially, and was very self-conscious.
Grades in high school
English, History / Social Studies
Algebra and Trig. Math in general. I do not have a quantitative mind, so it was hard for me. I never felt I understood it. It was not interesting to me, I disliked it. I'm still uncomfortable in that area.
There wasn't as much pressure for organized extracurricular stuff, and I didn't do much. I spent most time after school (other than homework) in various activities with friends.
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
BA in History
Post-graduate education or training
JD, University of Oregon 1973
Places lived in US
California, District of Columbia (Washington D.C.), New Jersey, Oregon, Virginia
Places lived outside the US
Italy as college student 1963-1964
Current occupations / past occupations
Retired now. Serve on Board of GoodWill. Previously attorney with AT&T
Industries I've worked in
- Information (e.g. Publishing, Film, Broadcast, Telecommunications, Libraries)
Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
Yes. Liberal Arts taught me to think and have a historical and social context within which to look at the world. Law school gave me a trade.
Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
Openness to moving in my career exposed me to Washington D.C. (lobbying) and New York (corporate world). Both interesting for about 3 years each.
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
Having good, lasting relationships with family and friends, leading a purposeful life in which I honor the things that light me up and contribute to the lives of others.
My definition of success has changed over time.
In high school and college, I really didn't think about it much. I just knew I wanted to get a job, maybe have a family, and I was preparing for that. I really hadn't gone much beyond that. As a result, I set out on a pretty conventional path. College, Army, law school, job in the corporate world. It worked for me. I could provide for a family that is still close, educate kids, avoid serious financial problems. But I never found an avocation that I could really get behind. That I felt more passion or simply pleasure in doing. Today, I look more at human values, relationships, and a sense of purpose. I wish that I had been a little more free, less fearful, about exploring different paths. For example, I think I might have loved teaching history at the college level.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
I think my greatest accomplishment has been to be a good and faithful husband, a stable provider for a family, and a loving father. I've learned that satisfaction with those things runs far deeper than the "success" I had at the job or "career". When I retired a jotted down a quick list of things I valued and wanted to stress. At the top of the list was close relationships. Travel was second.
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
During the Viet Nam war, I joined the Army even though I opposed the war. I had little choice because I would have been drafted, but I wish I had thought about it more and joined the Navy. I really liked ships and the sea. I probably would have had a much better experience. Having said that, looking back on it, the experience taught me a lot about the military life, what a combat zone was like, how messed up it can be, about duty, discipline, honor. Now, although it was tough at the time, I'm glad I served--even in an unpopular war. On a more general level, I regret not having the maturity, or enough experience as a young man to be more intentional about my life path. I think I was fearful and basically sought out something safe. Had I been more thoughtful, talked more with people, and had a bit more willingness to try different paths, I might have found more satisfaction in my career choices.
An unexpected event that changed my life and how it impacted me
The VietNam war and the draft. The 60's became a wild time of protest, change, experimentation, and great music. I found myself in the Army in VietNam in the middle of all this even though I opposed the war. Looking back on it, it was a confusing time and I didn't get any clarity on it until years later and some reflection. (You cannot connect the dots until after the fact). After being awarded the Bronze Star as a Lieutenant in Viet Nam, I returned home and refused to participate in the Reserve and resigned my commission. The result was a court martial and less than honorable discharge from the Army.
How did all this impact me? I'd have to say it worked out pretty well. When I refused to participate in the Reserves, I had made a stand, stood on my conscience and principle. I learned that it felt good. I didn't like the army, but I learned a lot about things I never would have experienced: war, fear, organization, leadership, duty, and a level of responsibility I never would have had as a young man. Also, I was very immature when I came out of college. The army gave me time to grow up a little. I came out with more focus and more drive. I was able to go on to law school, did well and paved the way to a good job.
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My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto
So much to like. Pre teen--Rinconada pool and park. High school. St. Michael's Alley (a cool coffee house). For recreation, the Stanford Campus.
[map showing The Annex at St. Michael's Alley]