With the Covell spirit of inter-culteralismo in hand, I graduated in 1970 and soon found myself teaching English as a Second Language in Puerto Rico. But two years of classroom teaching were enough to tell me that this was not my place in the world.
With some trepidation, I took a job in the computing field that led to a 30-year career in the corporate world of high-tech. I found my niche in international marketing. During a long tenure at Hewlett-Packard Company, I managed and conducted marketing programs for computing hardware and software in both Latin America and Asia. This was the favorite time of my career, and there were many jokes about how my office had become a Boeing 747 as I traveled extensively to fulfill my marketing role.
When the opportunity to retire early came in 2002, I leaped at the chance to take a break from the workaday world and return to school. This time to The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the graduate school of international affairs at Tufts University near Boston, Massachusetts. Thinking my next step would be a new career in international economic development, my studies focused on economics and international communications.
I got as far as Beirut, Lebanon, on behalf of a USAID-funded project when life stepped in. The sudden death of my father brought me home from Beirut, and I have been more or less managing family business ever since.
During all these years, music hovered in the background as a beloved constant. I played violin in both chamber and symphonic groups. And for a change of pace, performed in Scottish Country Dance fiddle bands during the 1980s. That was a lot of fun! My music colleagues remain among my closest friends.
Today, the long-term viability of our planet is an issue that concerns me greatly. Trying to do my part to help, I have turned toward the conservation of endangered avian species. I volunteered with a parrot rescue and conservation group while living in Washington, DC. And now that I’m back in California, am volunteering with a group of “citizen scientists” committed to helping the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) avoid extinction.
In spite of being retired, I have lots of energy and am exploring new paths of expression. At a future Covell reunion, I look forward to sharing with you where these new paths have led.