Monday, October 19, 2015

Alumni Update

I received a few emails a couple of months ago from the Endicott Alumni Association asking for updates from my graduation class. It has been interesting reading the scattered responses and ever since the request came in I have been planning on sending an update. The problem has been that over the past decade there have been so many changes (heck, over the past year) that it is difficult to know where to start. Well, here is my attempt at providing a summary of what life has been like since I received my degree from Endicott College ten years ago…

It is hard to believe how quickly ten years can simply evaporate and I am sure that there are very few of you that were even close when you thought about where you would be as Dr. Wylie handed you your degree. I sure didn’t expect to be where I am today working as a PR Account Executive outside of Philadelphia focusing on the tech industry. I guess you never know where you will end up (especially for those of us who were English majors).

So, how did I get here? With my degree in hand I returned home to the Philadelphia suburbs, published some work in a few literary journals, magazines, anthologies, and pulled everything together in a short collection of poetry which was released by Pudding House Publications. Local readings followed including one at a local Barnes & Noble where I met my wife. After a year away from academia, I couldn’t help myself and soon enrolled in the MFA program at Rosemont College. While studying at Rosemont I was also pursuing a greater spiritual endeavor which led me to my conversion to Judaism a month before receiving my graduate degree.

Here is where things really started getting hectic. That same summer I was offered a Business Writer position at a PR firm in midtown Manhattan. By the fall of 2008 I was living in Brooklyn riding the F train to work every morning. By the spring I found myself in a difficult position as my Fibromyalgia was getting the better of me forcing me to take some time off before my wedding in June. My wife and I were married in Philadelphia in June of 2009 and spent over a week in Jerusalem with a couple of days in London tacked on at the end. It was a life changing trip that followed a life changing event.

Now living in Metuchen, New Jersey, and with my Fibromyalgia in mysterious remission, that fall I was faced with the reality of a diabetes diagnosis. It was a moment that made us assess what we really wanted to do with our lives. The following summer, after visiting Endicott and showing my wife the beauty of the campus, my wife and I started on another adventure that would take us back to the Middle East. A year later, in July 2011, my wife and I made Aliyah. However, some things aren’t meant to be and we soon after found ourselves returning back to the United State (although we will always be Israelis). This would later prove to be a 

2012 was a difficult year having moved back to the Philadelphia area, Bala Cynwyd to be exact, to be close to family and, by doing so, putting our careers on hold. It was tough working overnight shifts, living paycheck to paycheck, and watching our debt slowly climb but we made it through that tough time and we both found ourselves back on track in the professions we are truly passionate about by the fall of 2013. This tough time also afforded us the opportunity, the freedom if you will, to explore much of Pennsylvania as well as get involved in a few local community organizations. It was during this time when I became both a Rotarian (former President Elect) and a Mason (currently serving my second year as Secretary). And given the monotony of the hourly position I held, I was also able to start a daily blog, Time To Keep It Simple, to which I continue posting on a daily basis. Finally, it gave us the time to explore our roots as we worked to pull together the dispersed details of our family trees and finding out where we come from and exploring the details of each generation. Again, this is something that we still enjoy doing when we have the time.

There are a lot of other things that have happened in the 10 years since I walked through the door of Trexler Hall one final time but I have already written more than you were probably expecting to read (if you even made it this far). So I will end things rather simply. Today, my wife and I are doing our best to enjoy every minute that we have with our eight month old son. We live a bit further from the city than our previous places of residence, but we are still close enough to see our families on a regular basis. We are busy, sometimes too much so, but we are happy. It has been a busy decade but I am sure it will pale in comparison to the decade that is unfolding before us.