Early Influences (1)

          I was born without pain my mother said (some experimental injection) and indeed, all I can remember was a joyous childhood. What was that Paul Simon said? “She loved me, loved me, got down on her knees and hugged me.” I was infused with joy in mother’s milk.

          That jubilation for life stayed with me throughout my career. There are great teachers with quite varied dispositions, but I’ve always thought that bringing an upbeat mode to the classroom began with a welcoming benediction. “Goood morning, “I’d say with a a lilt on the ing.
                    “ It’s two in the afternoon?”
                     “Morning is a state of mind.”
A belief in new beginnings opens the door to learning.

          When my father came home from the war his spine had been injured; he could barely walk. My brother would say he was a true hero, that it was one thing to die...we all would do that eventually...and bravery could be variously defined, but to live with the aftermath - uncomfortably, awkward for the world to deal with, to bring it home to your family and not give in...heroic. At the core of his beliefs was that making it possible for the disabled (in whatever way) to live full lives is a human rights value. We all need to get that chance.

          My personal, private experiences aren’t important here. We all live different lives. But the insights of my career didn’t come from mid-air. They came from personal experience examined.