I'm from nowhere near Sonora, California. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, as the youngest of seven children in an Irish-Catholic home. I went to undergraduate university at Boston College and then graduate school at Berkeley, which is what brought me out to California. After Berkeley I headed across the bay to San Francisco, where I taught high school English for 6 years at two Catholic girls' schools, and for a short time was principal. From there I joined the Peace Corps for two years in Sri Lanka, an experience that I captured in a book titled "Serendib." I returned to America and taught for another year in San Francisco before landing this job at Columbia College. 2016 marks my 20th year here, and for the most part, it's been a terrific ride. Apart from teaching, I'm married and have one teenage son; I play basketball and bicycle and generally stay in motion; I travel widely, such as a trip around-the-world for a year with my family (see letthegreatworldspin.org).
- Serendib, University of Georgia, 2001