Tag Archives: environmental careers

Teens once, now Masters of all they survey …


It’s sometimes hard to believe this exercise in letter writing began when Ellen and Reid were in their teens and scarcely in college; now, they have both earned Masters degrees – leaving their mom and dad in the educational dust. 

It’s a testament to each of their stick-to-it-ive-ness that they plowed ahead with their education. I logged 24 hours toward a Masters in Journalism in the 1970s but to this day still marvel at the lack of brainpower to finish it out (a move to a new city had something to do with it). But such dereliction can’t be said for my two. They got it done.


April 4, 2017

Ellen/Reid: Wow, now we have two adults in the family with masters degrees. Kind of puts your mom and I between a rock and a hard place education-wise. We are the laggards but are so proud of the two of you. Your degrees will pay off in the near and long terms. It never really crossed my mind that either of you would ever pursue an advanced education but you’ve gone above and beyond – and then some. My idea of higher ed is just reading the newspaper. We’ve got to figure out how to celebrate things the right way (which probably means some sort of wine or premium beer). Pick your poison. You’ve earned it.

Reid, I like the idea that you are looking at environmental careers. That’s good. I hope you can comb through that list of Chicago area organizations and non-profits. There is something to be said, too, for volunteering as a way to meet/network with other professionals. It will also pay off in the near and long terms. It will. Now if we can keep our anti-environmental kook out of the way. He’s just such a nothing loser. I swear he’s composing his tweets on the shitter.

This isn’t said lightly but I’m becoming something of an expert on Medicare. Or at least not how to go about it. But the knowledge has come the hard way: through the school of hard knocks – and phone calls. It’s still farcical in that there is no significant progress. I’m not really closer now to a Part B (medical coverage) than I was five months ago. All the conversations I’ve had boil down to this advice: wait. But there was something of a breakthrough on the phone to Social Security this morning. The agent (he had 38 years of experience) said my reinstatement is indeed in the works. I have passed what he called ‘screening’ which is apparently the moment when they open my paperwork and decide to move forward. Now the new Part B card is in process and could be mailed within the next month. It doesn’t sound like much advancement but it is coming. I’ve learned little smidgens of info on each call and have kept really good notes. Honestly, with the exception of one dismissive person I personally met who couldn’t care less about me and never even glanced at my documentation, every Social Security person I’ve talked to has been ever so helpful. Moreso, I dare say, not so much with Medicare. My condition has not, knock on wood, gotten worse so I hope to stick it out. But man, it’s getting old. It has truly been all-consuming. It’s on my mind 24/7.

So if it is indeed the case that it is nearly case closed, I’ll celebrate by going fishing tomorrow. My neighbor Dan helped me load Miss Emma atop the car and I don’t seem the worse for lifting my share of the load. The putrid and abhorrently stinky bait is thawing in the garage. Maybe the reds and black drums will like it. It’s been a while since we’ve been on the road together and it will be good to hit the highway as early as I can muster the energy to get up and going, all the while bolstered by stiff black coffee.

Had a nice photo freelance gig on Sunday at a big Presbyterian church in Uptown. Here is what’s truly wild: the speaker, a Peabody Award winner and New York Times best selling author, Krista Tippett, knew Tom Kigin and Liz. That was so wild.

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I hadn’t done a freelance photo gig in a long time … but this one was fun and when you do creative work, it keeps the juices flowing.

Here we were in a photo up in what was basically a green room before she spoke, and we’re talking about Minnesota. She lives in the Twin Cities. She was really good, and the job was fun. Reid, I have to upgrade my mid-range Nikon Coolpix to something beefier and better. Has to have a strong flash and both manual and auto focus. Any suggestions on that for me?

Okay guys, put those fancy, schmancy degrees to good use. As for my higher education, I’m content to pick up what I can while reading the paper.

Love, Dad

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