Like the majority of you, I came to Georgetown as a first-year student. I clearly remember getting dropped off by my family at the steps of Darnall Hall, although I wasn’t greeted by the cheerful hordes of NSO volunteers like you will be. Orientation in 1988 was a completely different experience without quite as much fanfare and organization.
I remember on my first night, I had a dinner with my advisor in New South Cafeteria (yes, the Healey Family Student Center was once a very average dining hall). The dinner went late, and as I exited I realized I had no idea where my dorm was. Too embarrassed to ask directions, I slowly meandered north until I recognized the few buildings that I knew. I did learn my way around campus quickly and I can regale you with tales of the olden days if you wish to hear them.
As a Californian, I found the transition to the East Coast to be a bit difficult. There were simply too many blue suits, too few beaches and way too much humidity. I acclimated (except for the humidity) and I know you will as well.
When I graduated from Georgetown I decided that I liked it so much that I would stay. So after a short break from academics, I returned to the hilltop and completed a Ph.D. in history. I taught my first class here in 1999 and have been teaching ever since. A few years ago, I moved from the sixth floor of ICC to the third floor and joined the dean’s office. For those of you keeping track, I have spent more than half of my life at Georgetown. Needless to say, I think this place is special.
Trained as an historian with a specialty in Anglo-Saxon England, I have actually taught a wide variety of classes in a number of different departments. It is probably safe to say that variety is a constant theme in my life. I actually began working at the age of 12 as a stock boy in an auto-parts store, and have been employed as a chef, a personal trainer, a wildlife conservationist, a commercial fisherman, a watch repairman and a McDonald's fry guy among other possibly more bizarre jobs. All of these experiences finally led me to the dean’s office, advising first year students and sophomores near the middle of the alphabet.
When I was an undergraduate, I thought that Virginia was a mysterious and far off place, even though it was just over the bridge. Now, I live there with my wife, twin five-year-old boys (future Hoyas!) and our puggle, Razzle.
I am excited to welcome you to Georgetown and look forward to meeting you during New Student Orientation! Please stop by ICC 303 to introduce yourself and meet the great staff advising first and second year students.