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2001_05_22:20: What You Make Of It
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This will necessarily be out of order over a series of entries as I think of important dates and add them. At least I'm starting with some early ones.
1963 born, Baltimore, Maryland
1964 parents divorced, moved in with grandmother
1965 mother bought her current house in Baltimore in a horrid neighborhood on its way down. No girls in the alley, just boys; my strong, energetic athleticism becoming apparent and highly offensive to family. Sister's determined discouragement only partially effective at first, becoming increasingly significant later
1966 first developed violent fear of the dark, ostensibly in response to casual horror story told by my mother in an effort to control my enthusiastic ebullience
1967 started kindergarten with Miss Siscovik, didn't like it, had to wear dresses in accordance with mandatory dress code, to the deep offense of my dignity and literal incapacitation of athletic tendencies; the patent-leather shoes didn't help
1968 started first grade with the hateful and ancient Miss Borns, decided school was the most loathesome place on earth; tried as hard as possible not to be noticed which of course made me the center of hostile attention
1969 began to worry about my future given my tendency to daydream through class; missed a few days due to illness, was lost upon return to do prior daydreaming and missed days, and vowed never to miss a day again and didn't.
1969 started singing in choir, which made school slightly more tolerable; sang til graduation
1975 spent many happy afterschool and summer hours playing in the polluted Herring Run Stream with Andrea making up stories and saying everything in a hick accent
1976 entered Herring Run Junior High
1977 learned to ride skateboard; acquired skateboard and promptly broke arm; decided to become a doctor as a result; practiced riding skateboard in living room while wearing cast.
1978 entered citywide accelerated program, Western High School, Baltimore; played violin in orchestra; rode skateboard between home and bus and between bus and school, with violin when necessary
1979 took genetics, anatomy, physiology, ecology, as well as standard science classes to prepare for medical career; volunteered as candy striper at local hospital; became disillusioned with medical career idea due to animal experimentation
1979 summer, casting about for new career ideas, went to forestry camp, discovered that forestry wasn't such a good idea either, though forestry camp was a life-changing experience
1980-81 studied existentialist literature and a few bits of philosophy in English class; liked it but didn't know what it all was.
1981 summer, first time away from home; worked in Ocean City, MD, at amusement park, 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, for 3 months; lived and worked with high school friend and fellow orchestra member Cynthia; distinguished sound of harpsichord for the first time.
1981 fall, entered Hollins College, Virginia, without a clue regarding my career. Started harpsichord lessons, took schedule overloads with a wide variety of courses. Freshman Seminar with philosopher Larry Becker. Suddenly changed mind about school: now it was the most wonderful thing in the world.
1981 christmas, Mary Ann Allen came to Hollins to apply for the philosophy department tenure-track position, Chairman Larry Becker invited me to attend the lecture and give my opinion. Allen's message was so clear and forceful that after the lecture I went to the registrar to declare my philosophy major.