I could have been an Olympic athlete
But I gave it all up for a career in public service and education
Or I could have been a rock star
Or a super-millionaire bond trader
Or an astronaut
Of course, however, none of those are true. I never seriously considered doing anything other than what I actually did.
For a while, in college, I toyed with the idea of being an anthropologist. But I couldn't figure out how one could be an anthropologist, certainly without a doctorate. And I had no real interest in that much additional education. In the end, I got it, but only by happenstance. I regarded, as still regard, a master's degree as my "professional" credential.
Public service was in the spirit of the times; being an educator was in the spirit of my family. So that's what I did.
It was a good choice. I wouldn't want it to have been any other way.
Among other things, I got to work with a number of very smart people. And I had an office across the street from the White House. And, during the Clinton Administration, we got to enjoy peanut pie in the cafeteria.
Things went downhill during the Reagan years and thereafter. It just wasn't the same: so ideological, and less technological. No more looking for the "one best way," or two or three. It was all politics then.
That's when I returned to teaching.
That's when we came back to Chicago.