I am a new grad student at Kean University this fall. I am part of the English Writing MA program and my hope is to use this degree to work with college students who are struggling with writing.
Before Kean, I lived in Southern Oregon for 11 years. Before THAT, I grew up an Army brat, and for the first 18 years of my life I lived in Texas, Germany, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, South Korea, and Oregon – with some encores in Alabama, Oregon, and Texas sprinkled in. Despite my nomadic upbringing, I am technically a Texan by birth and heritage. That said, I embrace the land and the family that connect me to the place, but I reject the culture and politics.
Being an Army brat makes you feel like you are both from nowhere and everywhere, and as a result of being uprooted so much, you learn to adapt quickly to new places (possibly a trauma response? A question for therapy). So coming to New Jersey seems like second nature to me, and I’m adapting relatively well thus far.
My reason for coming to NJ is one of the most important parts of my life – my wife. My wife sought out a PhD program in History that fit her interests and needs and Rutgers ended up being one of the best options. I was ready for a career change and I am my wife’s biggest fan in her academic pursuits, so we made the choice together to start a new chapter on the East coast. Neither of us ever spent much time in this part of the US, so it is exciting to explore a new place so full of history and LIFE!
Other fun facts about me:
- My wife and I have a cat named Cricket Jo that we picked up in Texas on our way to NJ. Besides marrying my wife, adopting my cat is one of the best choices I have ever made. Check out the tab with her name to see pictures or click here.
- I am (sloooowly) working on a sleeve for my left arm that tells the story of my life. If you know any good East coast tattoo artists I should check out, hit me up in the comments.
- When I find music I like, I have a bad habit of obsessively listening to it till I can’t stand it. My favorites at this time (Sept 2020):
- Big Sean – Detroit 2 album
- Kaash Paige – Teenage Fever and Parked Car Convos albums
- Paul McCartney’s self titled 1970 album
- SZA – Hit Different
- Summer Walker – White Tee and SWV
- Pink Sweat$ – The Prelude album
- Troye Sivan – Rager teenager!
- HER – anything and everything she ever does
- Books on my *want to read list:
- Illumination and Night Glare: The Unfinished Autobiography of Carson McCullers – Carson McCullers
- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter – Carson McCullers
- Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents – Isabel Wilkerson
- The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
- Five Families: The Rise, Decline, and Resurgence of America’s Most Powerful Mafia Empires – Selwyn Raab
- Transcendent Kingdom – Yaa Gyasi
- The Short Stories of Tennessee Williams
* If you have read any of these or have any recommendations – feel free to let me know what you think!