From There to Here and Back Again
by George Christian Lindholdt
Well, as Jerry Garcia used to sing, what a long strange trip its been!
I graduated from UC Berkeley at the beginning of the 1970s, so I went through all the emotionalism and politics of the late 60s. Not being drawn, at the time, into the business world I naturally thought of teaching, wanting to introduce all my political fervor and ideas into the next generation! Well, the rural students of Chinle, Arizona (on the Navajo Reservation) and Penasco, Taos County, New Mexico, had better things to do! Beautiful, isolated areas, they had more serious work to do and think about, like getting ready for winter, taking care of the horses, working on cars and trucks, etc. I found myself envious of them, valuing their knowledge more than mine, and wondering what I really had to offer.
So, feeling like my academic education was becoming more and more meaningless, I drifted down into Albuquerque and found an interesting, semi counter culture, semi frontier circle of friends Albuquerque has everything Santa Fe has, if you know where to look for it, and it's affordable! I invested in some run down real estate, learning the nuts and bolts of maintenance, roofs, plumbing, and the realities of what "affordable housing" really means. I enjoyed the hands on experience and learning new skills, but missed the sense of satisfaction I experienced in working with students, and the camaraderie of teaching.
Not wanting to live my life without a serious career, I dove into technical school, learned COBOL and other languages, mostly IBM mainframe, and went into computer consulting. This lead me to a few years in Minnesota, my first experience in the mainstream Scandinavian-American culture which would be my natural heritage. After life in Hispanic neighborhoods of New Mexico, it felt a little strange.
I found I actually liked the cold and the seasons, and might have stayed in the north country, but for an inheritance of real estate: my early childhood home, in Marin County, just north of San Francisco. After going by my middle name (Christian or Kris) much of my life, I was suddenly greeted, by old family friends, as "Little Georgie". We compromised on George. The real estate situation, dealing with coastal commissions, environmental and earthquake regulations and 5 engineering reports, took far longer than I expected but is now complete.
So I find myself back in my native county and thinking once again of my original vision of the future, now long delayed. Funny how things go in circles! Returning to the education world through ESL tutoring and re-certification classes, I find the students as challenging and stimulating as ever, and the administrative aspects far more complex. However, they are now taking into consideration the multicultural and economic issues that were largely ignored in my first round of education. Exactly where this will lead me is not yet certain. Stay tuned for the latest updates!
Biography and Resume