The plan, the philosophy, the equipment

The plan: To visit 11 universities covering 5.000 miles and 18 states in three weeks. Visit campuses (campii?), talk to people, see towns, eat the local foods, and get a feeling for the lay of the land.

The philosophy: Minimalist, carry only the stuff I can carry in my duffle bag. Not buying any new or special equipment. I did have to purchase some safety equipment: small flashlight, glow sticks, first aid kit,and a puncture repair kit (more on that later).

The equipment: Rocinante, a five year old Harley Davidson 883, which pisses oil from the air intake.

The universities:

  1. U of Maryland
  2. Georgetown
  3. Duke
  4. UNC Chapel Hill
  5. Emory
  6. U Alabama
  7. Tulane
  8. UT Austin
  9. Vanderbilt
  10. U Tenn
  11. U Virginia

The story, Part I

As my brother Theo would say, I’m a bit of a late bloomer. It wasn’t until my senior year at the American School in London that Soledad Sprackling and Mr. McGovern introduced me to Borges and Hemingway respectively. My mind was blown and I haven’t stopped reading since.

Then I went to business school, but that was not a deterrent. Thanks to Silvia Velez and the afore merged Theo I discovered García Márquez,  Fuentes, Auster, Amis, etc. Then I spent the next fifteen years in the business world, happy to just comment my readings with Paco Navarro.

My final approach to turning pro in the world of academia and literature  came in 2004. After closing my company, my then wife, Tracy said: “Try teaching you are a natural, you’ll love it”. And I tried it, and I loved it.

I started teaching at the high school level, and after the initial jitters, I thrived in sharing my passion for language, literature and culture with my students. I wanted more so I got my masters at Simmons. That was a fantastic experience, I loved reading and writing and discussing, I felt at home, I realized I needed and wanted more of that. After five years at a prestigious arts high school (you can see some of my work on Youtube), I have decided to “crank it up a notch” and go for my PhD.

About Rocinante

Rocinante is a stock 2006 Harley-Davidson 883. The only mods are the touring seat, backrest, storage rack, color matched side panels and the oil cap with the analog thermometer that my dad gave me. Like the original Rocinante, this one is grey, skinny, a little weathered and not so fast, but she has a huge heart. I bought her brand new at Boston H-D (big mistake) and for years she commuted with me to work and we went on weekend excursions. We have gone to NYC together – with a three inch construction screw imbedded in her rear tire without a single complaint.

Inspiraciones y agradecimientos

Inspiraciones:

Las aventuras del Caballero de la triste figura (ver 1)

Las aventuras de Ernesto Guevara y Alberto Granados (Los diarios de la motocicleta)

Los libros de viajes de Miguel de Unamuno

Jules Verne,  Around the World in Eighty Days

Jack Kerouac On The Road y Big Sur

Agradecimientos:

“Post tenebras lux”

Manolo y Pilar – gracias jefes

Mis amigos moteros, tecnológicos, editoriales,  inspiradores – ya sabeis quien sois

To my Simmons professors who made me believe in myself and planted the seed for this adventure.