Al Wiedemann

My interest in travel has been one of
the primary forces directing and shap-
what has become My Life. To me, the
enjoyment in travel lies not only in
new places and situations, but also in
the actual movement from one place to
another. As a child, instead of being
absorbed in comic books, I collected
and studied railway timetables and
roadmaps. The frequent thirty mile
train trips from my home to Chicago
were sources of endless wonder and
fascination. Travel books and geography
texts were my bibles and the horizon
my dream. Failing badly at high school,
I left and struck out on my own.
After a variety of jobs, I entered the
Army. Here, duty as a parachutist
introduced me to airplanes and the thrill of flight. After military service and a short stint at the University of Illinois in Chicago, I traveled to the wide-open, romantic West to begin my academic endeavors in earnest. Four years were spent at Utah State University acquiring
a B.S. in crop science and a M.S. in agronomy. The urge to strike out upon me again, I headed back east to North Dakota State University. Academic dissatisfaction and the endless prairie winters moved me again, in less than two years, to the enchantment of Oregon. Here I spent three years studying coastal sand dune ecology and two years teaching general botany. Finishing with a Ph.D. in plant ecology, I finally felt prepared to strike out for the ultimate objective: the Great Trip. I applied for and received both a Fulbright lectureship and a NSF postdoctoral research fellowship. On the former I spent a year at the University of Malaya in Malaysia teaching ecology and working in the tropical rain forest. On the latter I spent a year and a halt studying plant communities on the sand dunes of the interior deserts of Australia. Almost an additional year was spent teaching high school in Australia, and there were two periods of extensive travel in Indonesia. These years did nothing to satis!'y my appetite for travel, but there comes a time when one must think seriously about settling for awhile and trying to become a part of something and some place. Evergreen had been in my mind ever since its inception in 1967. I had followed its development over the years, and what came through to me seemed to be a real opportu- nity to get involved in what 1 had come to think would be an exciting way to teach. So I became involved. When I am not involved in what is strictly Evergreen, I attempt to increase my general knowledge of the Malay areas of Southeast Asia, and to attain proficiency in the Indonesian language. The Army Reserve takes one weekend of every month, and tolk dancing one night of every week. Inbetween I cook, make my own beer, and somewhat half-heartedly sort through some five year's collection of photographs and slides. My next trip to Australia and Southeast Asia will be in December, 1972.