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Dean’s First Friday Five

I’ve never done a TGI Friday Five, but after reading Andrew Careaga’s, I thought … (speaking in the tone of my best Brooklynese [which is pretty good]) … Who knows? It could be good!

1. What is your current occupation? Is this what you chose to be doing at this point in your life? Why or why not?


I am a senior systems analyst for a pretty good sized and well respected research firm. And no, when I was 18, I thought by now I’d be sin[g|n]ing at the New York City Opera. Notice, I didn’t say the Met … I wouldn’t mind it but I just like the NYCO’s selections and some of their systems better. That said, if the Washington Opera wants to give a local boy a shot – just say when. The Glenmont Metro Station isn’t that far from where I live.


2. If time/talent/money were no object, what would your dream occupation be?


Didn’t I just answer that question? Actually, at this point in my life, I think I would creat a charity which would allow me to travel from church to ministry and help them with their automation needs – just so long as I could go paint-balling with the youth group !-) I’d also sponsor & produce sacred music productions, which would give local municipalities a chance to hear some of the wonderful masses, requiems and such while giving opportunity to experienced individuals like me to work with youngsters with potential (classical) musical talent. Then again, there is this part of me that would like to teach at a college or university – I guarantee my student’s would be among the malcontents.

3. What did/do your parents do for a living? Has this had any influence on your career choices?

My mother retired as a personnel administrator with NOAA. My father was a quality system engineer with NASA – yes – a rocket scientist. He was many of the countless faces in white shirts and pocket protectors that put a man on the moon with nothing more slide rules and vaccum tubes. His career at NASA spanned from the Gemini Project up through Project Galileo. He is my hero. While I did not originally choose a technical path as he, I am proud to follow in his footsteps – in so many ways – both professionally and otherwise.


4. Have you ever had to choose between having a career and having a family?


Yes. As well equipped as I am to sing in the big leagues, I left New York City and a budding opera career. There was just no way that I personally could serve two masters. It is the reason I slugged-it-out in night school to get my Master’s in Computer Science. My reward is a wonderful wife to whom I’ve been married 11 years, and a beatiful 2.7 year old daughter who is more precious to me than all the curtain calls and all the accolades of an entire career. Though I must say, at this point in my life, I might be able to manage it.


5. In your opinion, what is the easiest job in the world? What is the hardest? Why?


Easiest? Arch Campbell – Channel 4 Movie Critic, Washington. Actually, he probably works INCREDIBILY hard, but has so much fun doing it that it only appears effortless. The true mark of a professional.

Hardest? It has to be a pastor or a youth minister. You couldn’t pay me enough to put up with all the ‘shinola’ they have to endure.

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