A Brief History of Donald

I had initially planned for this to be a brief listing of all the places I've lived.  Then I started to add a short description of the place, and what I was doing there, and pretty soon it was a complete autobiography, complete with anecdotes, my personal testimony, and other things I never thought I'd be publishing on the Web.  Go figure.  Below is a map with numbers labeling each of the places I've lived.  You can click on the map, or on the list to the right to find out what I was doing there.

1.  Hampton, Virginia (1974-75)
2.  New London, Connecticut (1975-78)
3.  Columbia, South Carolina (1978-80)
4.  Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (1980-82)
5.  Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey (1982-83)
6.  Swedesboro, New Jersey (1983)
7.  Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania (1983-84)
8.  Cornwall, New York (1984-85)
9.  Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania (1985)
10. Richmond, Virginia (1985-90)
11. Oswego, New York (1990)
12. Columbia, South Carolina (1990-96)
13. St. Francisville, Louisiana (1994-95)
14. Woodville, Mississippi (1995)
15. St. Francisville, Louisiana (1995)
16. Cambridge, Massachusetts (1996-2003)
17. Rochester, New York (2003-2004)
18. St. Francisville, Louisiana (2004)
19. Waltham, Massachusetts (2005-2009)
20. Arlington, Massachusetts (2010-2018)
21. Quincy, Massachusetts (2018-present)


1. Hampton, Virginia (1974-75)
I was born in Virginia, at the Hampton General Hospital.  I was the first child of Carol Anne Crankshaw and Donald Howard Crankshaw.  My father wanted to name me after himself, but my mother wouldn't let him give me the middle name Howard.  I have a great mother.  My father was in the Navy at the time, working on a nuclear submarine.  We moved when I was nine months old.  I really can't say I have any memories of this place.

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2. New London, Connecticut (1975-1978)
My father was still in the Navy at this point, serving on a submarine tender.  The elder of my two sisters was born here.  Her name is Sarah Caroline Crankshaw.  To be honest, I don't remember much from this place either.  After this point, my Father left the Navy, and moved into the commercial sector.

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3. Columbia, South Carolina (1978-80)
This is where my Father started working at nuclear power plants, doing mainly contract work in Nuclear Engineering.  Contract work pays well, but doesn't have much in the way of benefits, and job security lasts only as long as the contract does.  Thus, we moved often as my father went from contract to contract.
My best friend here was a boy a few months younger than me, named Eric Craft.  We both went to Dutch Fork Baptist Church.

I remember that I started kindergarten here... it didn't prepare me for my next school at all.

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4. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (1980-82)
We were here while my Father worked at Three Mile Island.  Yes, that one.  He was one of the people who came in after the accident to analyze what went wrong and how to fix it.

This is where I started school in earnest.  Like I said, the kindergarten class here was much different from what I did before.  Previously, I was doing letter people, now they expected me to recognize words--almost, but not quite, reading.  I lacked both the preparation, and to be honest, the intellectual maturity to do this.  Hey, we're not all prodigies.  Kids become ready to learn at different ages, and I just wasn't ready. (Although my mother tells me I had good conceptual and number skills.) They wanted to hold me back in kindergarten, but my parents wouldn't let them.  I'm quite grateful for that.

I started first grade in the lowest reading group, as they were divided there.  Fortunately, these "reading groups" were very mobile, and moving up and down was easy.  By the end of the year, I was at the top.  My biggest problem was coloring... don't laugh!  I've never been very artistic, and when we had a worksheet where we were supposed to color in the animal starting with a "C", I just scribbled a large purple crayon circle on the cat.  Hey, it was the right answer.

I think second grade is when I started to realize, hey, I'm pretty smart.  I memorized my multiplication tables very easily, and I finally got that pesky alphabet straight.

Of course, one of the more interesting things that happened at this time is that the younger of my two sisters, Rebekah Elise Crankshaw, was born here in 1981, at Hershey Hospital.

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5. Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey (1982-83)
To be honest, I remember very little of living here.

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6. Swedesboro, New Jersey (1983)
This is where we got our first home computer, and where I started one of my greatest vices: computer games.  I've always been fascinated by computers.  When I first saw a documentary on how microprocessors were made, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Our first home computer, a TI-99/4A, reinforced that.  I also discovered the joys of computer games at the time, starting with the Pirate Adventure, to this date the only text adventure I've ever completed.  I do a lot of work on computers nowadays, but I'd be hard pressed to say that I spend more time working on them than playing with them.

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7. Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania (1983-84)
We had a house in the Poconos here, in a small community called The Hideout.  We initially intended it as a vacation home... apparently we were doing pretty well at the time.  It was a neat place to live, with a large woods out back with large rocks scattered about.  I loved this place.

This is also where I was introduced to my other prime vice: reading.  In particular, reading fantasy novels.  If I remember correctly, it started when I was in fourth grade.  There was absolutely nothing in terms of civilization nearby (just swimming, skiing, boating, hiking--it was a vacation home, after all), which made me a rather bored nine-year-old.  To stop my complaining, my mother pointed me to an old set of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings which belonged to my father.  I'd never read anything the length of a novel before, so the Lord of the Rings was quite an undertaking.  But I read it, and I enjoyed it immensely.  By the time I finished, the books were falling apart.  I've been hooked on fantasy ever since, although I do get some variety.

I was baptized here, at a tiny church named Northeast Baptist, where our family was fully half the membership.  The pastor was only a pastor part-time: during the week he worked at a computer store.

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8. Cornwall, New York (1984-85)
This is where we were when we got one of those newfangled VCRs.  It had this tiny camera, but you had to lug around the entire VCR in order to use it.  The best movies we have were taken while my father was first figuring it out, and not realizing it was on, he took long shots of the ground as he walked, and at least one shot of a door as he used the camera to rap on it.

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9. Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania (1985)
We ended up back here for a while, but I can't say I remember anything of significance happening.

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10. Richmond, Virginia (1985-90)
I went to middle school and started high school here.  The Middle School was called Providence Middle School.  My first experiences were not entirely pleasant.  I was placed in an advanced Math class, and I think it was the third day that my teacher told me that she thought I didn't belong in it.  This was mainly because of poor performance on the first two assignments, the first of which I did in pen (how horrible of me!), and the second of which I didn't do at all, mainly because I thought it was optional (for some reason I can't recall).  Later that year, on the Mathcounts contest, I scored higher than she did.  The ultimate revenge!  She did, however, do a bit to cool down my arrogance, which by this point had grown quite a bit.

A few things happened in Virginia that helped stoke that arrogance.   Firstly, I took part in a number of Math contests, and scored first place for my level in the Greater Richmond District Math contest three years in a row.  I also took part in a programming contest for two years.  In the first year, my team placed first overall, and in the second, my team placed first in BASIC.  Finally, I did a bit of writing in those days, and entered several of my stories in contests.  I won first place in the county in the WRITE NOW! contest with a short story entitled "Galatea," based on the Greek myth, and third or fourth place at the statewide Junior Classical League convention with two Modern Myth stories: "The Chariot of Comes" and "The Ephanboi."  Finally, I placed ninth nationally with a short story entitled "A Life for a Life," a historical fiction story in the Roman Empire.  Of course, for all I know there were only nine entries, so I can't brag too much.  All of these have their root in the fact that I was taking Latin at the time, something which I did only because my mother made me.  It has had a stronger influence on my life than I would have expected.

By this time, my head was getting pretty big.  This was most evident in the Book of Crankshawian Philosophy--a small notebook which I used to record my thoughts and ideas.  For the most part, it consists of short, acerbic statements.  I've been told that it is best when at its most arrogant and cynical.  What can I say?  I still keep it, and you can even read a few excerpts here.

There was one thing that worked against my arrogance.  It was not entirely my choice, but my parents made sure I was active in the youth group at Bethany Place Baptist Church, in the Youth Choir, the Bible study, and the Sunday School.  I had been a Christian of sorts for a while by now.  I had said the prayer of salvation, been baptized, the whole nine yards.  But... I had never really given up everything.  I had always aimed for the minimum... what was the least I could give God to satisfy Him?  How could I get the fire insurance without really committing?  Well, being in this church's Youth group meant going on a mission trip.  My first mission trip was to Tennessee, working with a church there for their week-long revival services.  More than one service was focused on giving everything to God, surrendering all of your life to Him.  And sitting in the bus after the one of the services, waiting to go back to wherever it was we were staying, I really felt compelled to answer the question of whether I was really willing to give everything to God.  Like many people in the Bible, my response was to argue with God.  While giving everything to him seemed like something I really should do, it just didn't seem fair that I had to do it now.  I was only 14, I hadn't even started High School yet.  Why should I commit my whole life to him?  Later, I told God.  Now, he told me.  I can't say I ever had an experience where I audibly heard God's voice, but the nearest I've been to a personal revelation has been a deep and utter sense of conviction, of knowing what I had to do and that I had to do it now.  And so I conceded, Now.  And so I gave Him everything, promising to hold nothing back from him, to let him be Lord over my entire life.  The sense of peace, of certainty, that I felt once I had done that was like nothing I had ever before experienced in my life.  I cannot say I have been entirely faithful to that promise.  I have faltered as much as, if not more than, any other human being, but God has been faithful to me.

It's easy to write off such an experience as one of those emotional religious experiences, no more supernatural than any other emotional response.  I am personally very skeptical of emotions--I don't trust them.  I can typically distract myself or avoid emotions I don't want to deal with... it's only when these techniques don't work that I seriously consider that there's more to what I'm experiencing than my overactive imagination.  I'll leave it for you to decide whether there was more to it than my mind or not.  I certainly believe there was.

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11. Oswego, New York (1990)
We must have been here for a whole three months or so.  I can't say that a lot happened here, but what I remember the most was the house we lived in.  It was a Civil War-era, three story house.  It had a front and a back portion, with the living rooms and main bedrooms in the front, and the kitchen and servants' quarters in the back.  Ah, luxury.  My sister and I lived in the servants' quarters, mainly because they were more fun.  The house was actually a part of the underground railroad, complete with a mouse-infested secret room in the attic, reached by a dusty crawl space, maybe1 foot wide by 2 feet high crossed at a diagonal where the roof was.  It made me feel claustrophobic just looking at it, so I never did go into the secret room.

The one thing I really remember about the school was that they made me take an art class (ugh!) and they did not have a decent computer class.  I ended up working with one of the counselors, who helped me learn a little Pascal.

And for some reason, I remember a couple of songs.  I never did listen to music a lot, but Sarah liked Pop at the time and my father listened to Country-Western, and I remember a few songs which were getting a lot of airtime and which I really liked, namely, "Sailing" by Rodd Stewart, "King of Wishful Thinking" by someone I can't remember, and "Father's Love" a Country-Western song by someone else I can't remember.  If you happen to know who the artists were, please e-mail me.  I hate leaving blanks.

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12. Columbia, South Carolina (1990-96)
When we moved to South Carolina, we went back to almost the same place where we had lived before, in Irmo.  We joined the same church, in fact, Dutch Fork Baptist.  And lo and behold, the Crafts were still there.  I vaguely remembered Eric, and he vaguely remembered me, and we got along fine... but we didn't really become best friends again.

I spent my last two years in public school at Irmo High School.  It was a huge school, and one of the best in the country, with a Quiz team and Science team that annually placed high, if not first, in the nation.  One of the first things I was told when I got there was that I may have been a big fish in my last school, but I was in a bigger pond now.  That did little to endear me to the counselor who said that.  It is true that there were a number of top-notch students there, people whom I still respect, but I don't think anything external really took my ego down much.  They had a lot of fun trying to dovetail me into their program.  They couldn't find a Latin class or a computer class to fit, so I ended up taking a couple of courses at the University of South Carolina, namely Engineering 101 and Latin 301.  The English was fun as well, as their Junior year AP class was focused on American Literature, whereas I had done that as a Sophomore.  It wasn't all the same books, but there was more overlap than I really liked.  So they moved me out of that class and into the Senior Honors class, where I was reintroduced to Shakespeare via Hamlet.  I had first read Shakespeare in 9th grade, namely Romeo and Juliet.  I hated that play: I thought the main characters were idiots.  I had a hard time believing that Shakespeare was really the greatest playwright in English literature based on that.  Fortunately, I liked Hamlet.  That's the play that led me to believe Shakespeare really was a good playwright, although I still like his comedies better than his tragedies.  Even though this English class wasn't an AP class, I still took the test.  I got a 5 out of 5.

My senior year wasn't much easier to work with.  I very much wanted to take the Calculus-based Physics Advanced Placement class, but the only Physics AP class they had enough students to offer was Algebra-based.  I had already taken an algebra based physics class, and the simple truth is that physics doesn't make much sense without calculus.  Too many of the formulas were cheats that you couldn't derive without it.  It's no accident that the same person, namely Newton, discovered both.  So I decided that if the class wasn't offered, I'd figure it out on my own.  So I studied the book (which was really designed for someone who had already taken a semester of calculus, not for someone who was taking it concurrently), registered for the AP test, and took it by myself.  I scored a 5 out of 5.  In all, I took 8 AP tests, and scored a 5 on seven of them.  My one 4 was on my second English AP test, the one for which I did take the class.

When it came time for college, my first choice was MIT.  The problem was that it was very expensive, and very difficult to get financial aid for.  Meanwhile, the University of South Carolina was willing to give me a free ride.  Well, money won out, and I ended up going to "the other USC" for my undergraduate education.
I was in the Electrical Engineering program at USC.  I had a clear sense of what I wanted to do, namely Research and Development in computer microprocessors.  I was thinking Grad school even as I started out.  With my AP credits and college courses, I started out as a second semester Sophomore.  There was only one Freshman course I needed--I could have completed my B.S. in three years very easily, especially since Engineering 102 wasn't a prerequisite for anything.  Instead, I took my time and had some fun.  I took 6 courses in Greek, including a semester of Biblical Greek, in order to continue my classical studies.  Four of the Greek classes were language classes, while the other two were Mythology and Art&Archeology.  USC had a strong Honors program, and their Honors college offered several interesting courses.  I took one for fun entitled "The Oxford Inklings," which focused on C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams.  Plus I minored in Physics,  mainly because I thought I needed it for what I wanted to do.  It gave me a chance to study Modern and Quantum Physics.

Extracurricularly, I was involved in USC's IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) student chapter, where I was the Newsletter editor, Eta Kappa Nu (the electrical engineering honor society) where I was the Vice-President, and the Baptist Student Union, where I held no particular title, but I think I derived the most from this last one.  I was also a Senator in the student government for one year, where I was also the Senate Chaplain.  I didn't like that very much.  For one, as Chaplain you're supposed to pray to open the Senate, but you're not allowed to say anything that might offend any of the other people there.  So you end up tossing a prayer into heaven and hoping that some god catches it.  Also, the Senate was forever passing resolutions with no real power.  Their only real power was to distribute money to the various student groups, which was a real mess since political and religious groups weren't supposed to get money from the student government, but nobody could decide how political groups were defined (apparently religious groups were easier).  I got tired of the pointless bickering and didn't run for a second term.

The IEEE chapter was very active, and we had a strong showing at IEEE's SouthEastCon for several years.  I took part in the Software competition for two years.  Both times I was part of a team modifying the AI for a computer game, in the first year NetTrek and the second year Texas Hold 'Em.  NetTrek is a network game based on Star Trek, where you control a spaceship and try to shoot down other ships.  Texas Hold 'Em is a poker game.  Truth be told we had a better idea what we were doing when we wrote the program for Texas Hold 'Em, but we didn't do very well in the competition.  It was as much luck as anything else.  The first year, we placed first out of twelve teams or so.  That too was as much luck as anything else.

In my Junior year, I was named Computer Engineering Student of the Year.  This was surprising because 1.) Student of the year was an honor reserved for Seniors and 2.) I was in Electrical engineering, not Computer Engineering.  I asked about this, and I was told that it was not a mistake.  The problem was that they had the award, but because Computer Engineering was a new program, they didn't have any Seniors in it yet.  Since my education had a bent toward the computer side, they selected me.  The next year, I was selected Electrical Engineering Student of the Year, which felt more appropriate.  Alas, I wasn't named overall Engineering Student of the Year either year.

There are a few people from South Carolina I still keep in touch with.  One is William Blitch.  I met him briefly during my first year in Irmo, but didn't really get to know him until my Senior year, where I ate lunch with him and a few other friends every day. Our lunch table was a good place for debate, and William and I pretty much agreed on everything.  Although there were plenty of others who did not agree with either of us.  Much of the inspiration for The Book of Crankshawian Philosophy came from those discussions.  We ended up both going to USC, and we roomed together for two of those years.  My other roommates were Tim Stone, Peter Chung, Josh Elliot, and Will Grady.  Tim Stone replaced Josh Elliot in Senior year, and Will Grady replaced William Blitch when he graduated early, but even before then, the two were inseparable.  It was like getting two roommates for the price of one.  I occassionally exchange e-mail with each of my roommates, but not often enough that I can be certain I have the current address of each; aside from William, whom I'm actually in pretty good contact with.  I went to his wedding in 1997.

The other person from South Carolina I still communicate with regularly (who's currently living is South Carolina: there are a few Irmites in Boston) is Karen Ratigan.  She's much better at responding to e-mail than anybody else.  She was a friend of William Blitch in Irmo, although I had never met her there.  For some reason, William kept trying to set us up.  As far as I can tell, his main reasoning for why we would be a good match was that we were both short.

My last semester at USC has forever tainted my view of it.  The main problem was the Lab class, where we were split into teams to build a robot to perform a certain operation.  We had problems with the power supply, and in the end we just connected the battery directly to the motor in order to make it run.  It failed to work right the first two times.  On the third time, it worked fine, meaning we got a passing grade.  However, because it didn't work the first two times, our grade was pitiful.  I got a C in that class.  It's the only C I've ever gotten in my life: otherwise I had a perfect 4.0 GPA in college.  I've blamed everyone and everything for that failure... a lot of it was pure dumb luck.  The table where the robot was supposed to function was supposed to have several possible layouts.  It was set up by the TA, and had been set in the same layout pretty much the whole semester, but changed for the final test.  So by the time we had to run, it was set up in a way we had never tested before.  I've blamed the TA, the professor, my teammates... but where the problem really lies is with me.  The problem, of course, seems to be pure dumb luck.  But I don't believe in luck... I do believe in God.  I put everything I had into that project... I designed the circuits, built them, and wrote the program.  My teammates didn't do a whole lot, but part of that may have been my not letting them.  I neglected everything else for that project: my other classes, my sleep, my health,... and my God.  And I do believe that God was making a point: that I couldn't do it without Him.  No matter how much I put into what I do, it's worthless without His touch.

I was asked to speak at the Engineering graduation ceremony (as opposed to the college-wide graduation ceremony) and I was announced as Summa cum Laude at Graduation, an honor reserved for those with a 4.0 GPA.  The last happened only because the final grades were not in yet, maybe the first as well.  Both tasted bitter.  I wouldn't even check what my final grades were until it was all over.

In the end, it was little more than a slap on the wrist.  I had already been accepted to MIT, and apparently they didn't revoke the acceptance.  I received an NSF fellowship and a Tau Beta Pi fellowship to help pay for my education, which just meant I was an easier hire for any Professor looking for a Research Assistant.  The point is, it was a lesson.  I learned from it, even if I didn't enjoy it.

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13. St. Francisville, Louisiana (1994-1995)
I realize this overlaps with South Carolina.  My parents moved to Louisiana when I was a Junior in college, essentially abandoning me.  It was the first time I was really on my own.  But I had been living on-campus for two years, so it wasn't much of a trauma.  It meant I couldn't do my laundry at home anymore, however, which is what first taught me the joys of scrounging for quarters.  I visited them in Louisiana from time-to-time, but I don't think I've lived there contiguously for any time period longer than three months.  But until I have a family of my own, this is still a home for me.

In this time period, my parents lived in a trailer.  It wasn't what you'd call a high-class trailer, either.  It was cheap and furnished.  It was stuffy unless you had all three or four air conditioners running, and it was way too small a place for five people to live.  Originally it was just my father living there, when he went ahead of us to start work there.  Then my mother and Rebekah joined him.  Then Sarah, and finally myself when school got out for the summer.  So yes, I am trailer trash.  I think we finally had enough when we had a bed fall through the floor.

St. Francisville is a beautiful place, though, with several plantations.  Which is in stark contrast to the trailer parks, which is where most of the people live.  It's very hot though, invariably humid, and my allergies always protest when I spend time there.

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14. Woodville, Mississippi (1995)
My parents shuffled across the Mississippi border briefly the first summer I was there, to a place whose name is locally pronounced woo-vil.  The house, though small, was quite a relief after the trailer.  Since we were incredibly close to the border anyway, all that changed was that my Father's ten minute commute became a thirty minute commute.  This is the point where I returned to South Carolina.  Driving.  And yes, it is a very long trip to drive.

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15. St. Francisville, Louisiana (1995)
My parents moved back to St. Francisville later that year.  This time to an even bigger place.  Still in a ranch configuration, and not as big as the houses in New York or South Carolina, or, for that matter, Pennsylvania, New Jersey,... you get the drift.  Still, it's large for St. Francisville.  Most people live in trailers: there's very little between the size of a trailer and a plantation.  It has plenty of land though, 7 or 8 acres all told, including a lot of woods with a creek, which I would have loved when I was younger.  It also has a barn and a horse pasture, in which we kept an actual horse for a while.  Something else I would have loved when I was younger.  Even being older, it was pretty neat.

My father has been into home improvement, starting with a brick patio, a small fish pond with a fountain, a screened porch, a swimming pool, and finally a garage (which are practically non-existent in Louisiana) with a finished room over it, which my parents rent out when they can dislodge my sisters from it.
My sisters, meanwhile, have been collecting animals.  I no longer try to count how many dogs, cats, horses, or whatnot we have.

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16. Cambridge, Massachusetts (1996-2003)
I moved to Cambridge, right across the Charles River from Boston, in order to start school at MIT.  I knew coming in that I wanted to be in the Materials and Devices program in the Electrical Engineering department.  This includes semiconductor, optoelectronic, and superconducting devices.  When I first visited, I spoke to Professor Orlando, who worked with superconducting devices, namely Josephson junctions.  Afterward, I asked him whether he might have a place for me in his research group.  He told me he wasn't sure whether he would have an opening or not that semester.  Meanwhile, Professor Fonstad, who worked on Optoelectronics, made me an offer to join his group.  Well, between a possible position and a definite position, I chose to accept the definite.  Unfortunately, I forgot to inform Professor Orlando.  So when I got here, two professors had made positions for me.  Oops.  Well, I decided that since my firmer commitment was to Professor Fonstad, I would work for him.

The other thing I did when I first got here was seek out the Christian groups on campus.  Fortunately, they all work together for MIT's orientation, so finding them was not a problem.  Choosing between them was.  I eventually gravitated toward the Graduate Christian Fellowship, partially because one of the first people I met, Andrew Crabtree, was involved in that organization, and also because their vision really appealed to me.  They put a great deal of thought into what they call the Life of the Mind, the intellectual questions of Christianity.  Their Bible studies are the most challenging and in depth that I've taken part in.  And they also focus on Integration of Faith and Life.  Your faith is not something that you should put aside when you go to work, it should be a part of it.  This has always been a challenge for me, as you may note in my description of my last semester at USC.  One of the fun parts is seeing how the Life of the Mind and Integration intertwine.

My first year in GCF, I was just an innocent bystander.  My second year in GCF, I got railroaded int... er, rather, I gratefully accepted the position of MC coordinator, which in theory meant that I was supposed to find MCs for each meeting, but in practice it meant I MCed most meetings.  My third year, I was the large group coordinator, which in theory meant that I was supposed to organize the meetings, but in practice it meant I MCed most meetings.  I was President my fourth year, Publicity Coordinator my fifth, Exec member-at-large my sixth, and then finally back to innocent bystander.

After I finished my Master's degree, which took two years, I needed to decide what to do next.  My work for Professor Fonstad involved wafer bonding, which meant that I placed two Gallium Arsenide chips together, applied heat and pressure, and made them stick.  Neat in a way, but not really something I was interested in doing for another three (or more) years while I pursued my Ph.D., so I spoke to Professor Orlando, and after he was really sure I was committing to work for him, I joined his group.  My thesis Measurement and On-Chip Contol of a Niobium Persistent Current Qubit, which was in the field of quantum computation.  I find this work fascinating, but it needs its own web page--which, fortunately, is here.

While at MIT, I attended Park Street Church, a great Congregationalist Church in downtown Boston.  I particularly enjoyed their evening services.

Once I finally finished my thesis, and it was on to bigger and better, or at least different, things.

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17. Rochester, New York (2003-2004)
In September of 2003, I began a postdoctoral position at the University of Rochester.  A postdoc is somewhere between a Grad student and a professor.  I'm not planning to become a professor, but that's beside the point.  I worked for Professor Marc Feldman on two projects.  The first was a qubit project, closely related to the work I did before with Professor Orlando.  As a matter of fact, some of my work on that project involved collaborating with Professor Feldman and his group, especially Jonathan Habif.  While I came here to work with Professor Feldman, Jonathan Habif went to MIT to work with Professor Orlando.  The other project was an atom chip project, which uses magnetic fields and lasers to trap atoms close to the surface of a microchip.  By fabricating wires on the chip which can be used to generate magnetic fields, these MOTs (Magneto-Optical Traps) can be fabricated in any shape.  The postdoc finished up in August of 2004.

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18. St. Francisville, LA (2004)
I stayed with my parents a few months while job-hunting at the end of 2004.  In order to raise a little bit of money, I did some contract work for the Family Services Center, a school-based health clinic where my mother worked.  They needed someone to look at their computers, and do some fixes and upgrades.  It was fairly easy work overall.  I don't consider myself a computer expert by any means, but then, it's all relative, and I knew a lot more about computers than the nurses and social workers whose computers I was fixing.  Meanwhile, I did a lot of writing, trying to manage a thousand words per day.  I managed to get over halfway through the sequel to Fire, and I got started on Eyes in the Shadow, a story which had been percolating in my head for a while.  It turned out to be a novella rather than the short story I envisioned.

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19. Waltham, Massachusetts (2005-2009)
I accepted a postion at Lincoln Laboratory, a federally funded research lab located in Lexington, Massachusetts, and moved to Waltham.  I worked on radars those days, which was very different from what my doctoral research is in, but fascinating nonetheless.  I even took the opportunity to meet up with old friends and get involved in my old church again. I was still living in Waltham when I met Kristin.

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20. Arlington, Massachusetts (2010-2018)
I started dating Kristin in 2009. In 2010, while looking for a new place to live, I was able to move into an apartment in her building. She called it "living together with training wheels." Since, that worked out so well, I proposed to her at the end of the year, and we were married in May, 2011.  We moved to a new place at that point, but since it was still in Arlington, it doesn't get a new number on the map.


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21. Quincy, Massachusetts (2018-present)
After living in the same apartment for seven years, we decided we had saved enough to buy a house. So we bought a house in Quincy, Massachusetts (the birthplace of presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams).

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