Autobiographical Sketch -Greg Portnoff

I remember being born about 15 years ago. At least that seems to be
how far back the me that is now me goes. No, I suppose there were some earlier moments. In the Army they called me "srraok" because I took walks in the middle of the night after they had gone to sleep. And long before that, I had sat on a hillside watching my classmates at play, and was content.

But I was 18 before thoughts like these began to coalesce into generalizations--to belong is to lose consciousness--or the beginnings of self-definition.  I did the wildlife conservation thing, then, at the university of Maine. But upon discovering that the woods harbored flies that bit, I switched to its more civilized counterpart, psychology at Brooklyn College. I never much liked behaviorism. But so many so smart people were so very sure. It must have been nearly four years before it occurred to me that they could be wrong.

During the winter of '61 I married my childhood sweetheart, Donna, whom I had met for the first time at a bad play three months earlier. And we began having children with astonishing efficiency. This didn't have much effect on my feelings about behaviorism, but it did gently hint at the necessity of permanent work.

Meanwhile, my formal education and my feelings about its irrelevance were accruing at about an even pace. This made finding work more difficult.  When your field is all wrong, honest jobs become rare. Research? What
for? Even some of those who were in it as a career saw it as a game. But it was fun sometimes; so I stayed awhile. The mental hospitals? Bad enough to need changing; but hopeless. I stayed too long. Conventional teaching? If they weren't getting any more out of it than I did, what was I doing?  The only word that comes to mind is masturbation. And yet I knew I was getting closer. Evergreen? Maybe, really maybe. This is a beautiful
place in many ways, and hope is good company.