Snippets of a Travelling Mind by USFman

James has been a regular follower and commenter on my blog almost from the beginning and until this interview I had no idea of the extent of his educational background … that he had one was evident from the way he writes. His posts are mainly about his travels and catching up with old friends, worldly and friendly at the same time.

USFMAN was a witness to the spirit of the late 1960s, seeking ways to find peace as protest against the Vietnam War and urban decay had spread turbulently across America. He later becoming a teacher/professor for MORE THAN 28 years in South Florida, recently retiring to practice yoga and self-meditation on a regular basis, he continues now as a role model for non-confrontation as he travels independently with his wife in their hard-earned freedom. Please join him as he seeks to understand the immense power of unforeseen travel moments by engaging in “Snippets of a Traveling Mind.”

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Getting a Feel For Myself and Family

I am an only child born and raised in the vicinity of Akron Ohio. As a child I spent much time alone playing my trombone or tending to our Pomeranian dog, Teddy. My most significant role model at that time was my maternal grandfather who spent a great deal of time teaching me patience through fishing and chess.  He was a truly gentle soul. At twelve years old our family moved to Hollywood, Florida and I will never forget the trauma I felt in leaving my childhood friends and friendly neighbours at that time. To this day, I often daydream about my happy childhood in North-eastern Ohio and relish the opportunity to visit and watch Browns football and Indians baseball.

I grew up in a hard-working Mid-western family with my father working long hours as a warehouse manager in the soft drink industry after a heroic stint as a ball turret gunner in a B-17 bomber during World War II. My mother excelled as an executive secretary in the private sector and later became record-keeper/administrator with the School Board of Broward County, Florida. My paternal side were pretty wild with a grandfather who drank, smoked and swore heavily. Two of my three male cousins lived hard and carefree lives, rejecting their parent’s supportive guidance and died prematurely. The other cousin became a financial success in the oil business but later decided to withdraw from all family contact. On the other hand my maternal relatives could be referred to as the intellectually neurotic side. My two aunts and six female cousins followed a more traditional path of life by seriously pursuing their college degrees then undertook successful careers in the teaching or business field. Unlike the “rough and tumble” lifestyle of my father’s family, all the female family members on my mother’s side tend to “overthink” and worry about life’s challenges. I also find them to be overly emotional and often gullible in face-to-face situations.

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Getting A Feel For The “Inner Me”

Although, I see myself as a nerdy introvert, in social situations I often behave as a warm and friendly conversationalist. Witness the various informal nicknames I’ve had over the years: Rockman, Augie, Jimmy Bimmy, and Eggor. A perfect day for me would take place in a sunny ballpark, chatting with knowledgeable baseball fans and coming away with a hometown win.

 

Getting a Feel For My Career

I have always loved to read and write and have come to consider myself a lifetime learner. In college, I majored in Applied Music as a serious performer on trombone at the University of South Florida with the intention of pursuing a jazz/classical degree in musical performance. It was there that I met my future wife, we been married for over 42 years. In my sophomore year I embraced the anti-war movement and early 1970s counterculture, abandoned my musical ambitions, and felt compelled to change my college major to a liberal arts field. I subsequently earned a teaching degree in Social Science Education, a Masters Degree in Urban Studies Education and eventually entered the teaching field. My early years of teaching were disappointing as I languished as a history teacher for thirteen years in poor, inner city schools interspersed with being laid off on several occasions. My luck changed once I earned my Educational Specialist degree as it enabled me to teach at the college level. Was initially under-employed as an adjunct professor, juggling teaching assignments at three colleges but finally advanced to the position of full time professor. I then spent a very contented fourteen years teaching Reading and English Second Language in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

 

Getting A Feel For My Travels

My interest in traveling was connected to my desire to apply academic learning beyond the classroom. I have always enjoyed research and my interest in Social Science through geography, economics and history has spurred numerous ideas for expanding my travel goals to visit various countries. Several other factors have converged to make me a wandering fool. Since my wife and I were both teachers we spent entire summers travelling. Our lust for travel was enhanced when we decided to pay off our mortgage, not have children and be more diligent about living frugally in expensive South Florida. When we retired two years ago, our shared pensions put us in an even more advantageous financial position for travel.

 

Getting a Feel For My Blogging

Blogging has helped me transition from a busy educator who thrived on contributing to the academic writing process to one who now writes more informally for a diverse audience of blog enthusiasts. I began this endeavour on Word Press three years ago as a productive hobby that would keep my mind intellectually stimulated and allow me to share my spontaneous impressions of travel. More recently I have added a photography component to my blogs to visually enhance the “sensory feel” of my travel endeavours. My favourite post to date is also my most popularly read one from 8/2016 “Strong Presence to Serve Humanity”, this post is my emotional tribute to a courageous FBI agent and dear friend who lost his life to Cancer in his mid fifties.

You can find this blog at: https://onstageformyselfnow.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/strong-presence-to-serve-humanity

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Snippets of a Travelling Mind by USFman

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  1. It was lovely to see UFSman showcased in this format. Having taught with his wife for many years, I got to know him a little through her, and now through his blogs. He writes with his heart and soul and when I read each one of his blogs I am literally transported to many wonderful places that I most likely will never have the opportunity to visit. And yet through USFman’s writing, I feel like I am seeing the world through his eyes and taking in all the sights, sounds, scents and tastes of each and every place he and his wife experience on their travels. I love the new pictorial additions, his quotes, his childhood memories and historical and literary references he often includes in his comments. I am so pleased he was highlighted. His blogs are truly a delight to read.

    Liked by 1 person

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