MERVYN L. CADWALLADER
I was born in a leper colony in central east Africa, and once I was going to be a medical missionary. I almost fell off a mountain near the Cape of Good Hope just before I sailed to Boston on a very slow freighter. My family stopped in Glendale, California and settled in Lincoln, Nebraska. The U.S. Navy sent me to the Great Lakes, San Diego and Oakland. I took a train back to Lincoln, drove to Oakland, and then moved to New York City, and would you believe it--Eugene, Oregon! My first motorcycle was a Harley 45.
I almost built ocean racers at Nevin's Boat Yard on City Island but taught at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn instead. I taught sociology at Pratt without knowing what it was so I went to the University of Oregon to find out about sociology and left Eugene with a Ph.D. There was only one place in the United States that I wanted to live so I asked for a job at San Jose State College. I dug in and enjoyed Santa Cruz for ten years
Joe Tussman told me about Alexander Meiklejohn's Experimental College and that led to Tutorials in Letters and Science, Guadalupe, Old Westbury and Evergreen. I once started a book; Christ, Cromwell, and Castro, but I gave it up to start another; Diocletian and Meiklejohn. I have never finished either book, but I did finish an article on marriage.
For many years I have been an intellectual in spite of myself and always a habitual teacher. I became a sociologist by accident and a dean by mistake. I love to teach, and I am going to love teaching at Evergreen. I can hardly wait to do Athens and America again and again.
I am impatient with events that are slow and administrators that are slow.
I am irritated by people with fuzzy minds, college teachers who are romantics, students who have authority hangups, and all kinds of big talkers who do not do things. I am sometimes slow, fuzzy, romantic, and a big talker. I like honesty, openness, and frankness. I love patient, curious, probing conversations. Enthusiastic people are a joy. Warm people who laugh are wonderful--even people who laugh at me. It is fun to play, even while worrying about Old Evergreen.
By the way, there are many things that I find more fun than doing the
work that deans do; skiing, sailing, creating slide shows, and writing
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