A 1975 team photo courtesy of Al Hodish. Photo contains Rutgers University lacrosse All American James Ford. click to enlarge the image.
At my first public school physical education job in Danbury (86-88), I taught classes alone in my own facility. But at Hempstead in 88-89, I team taught with four other teachers all seemed to be looking for the least resistant path to retirement. Here I was trying to instill principals, respect for adults and each other, and discipline. I must have been a pain in the butt carrying on like supper teacher on steroids! It was a big mess and my contempt for them was growing each day. By the spring of 1989 I decided to leave Hempstead and get a graduate degree which was a requirement for a permitting state of New York teacher’s license. I was at a cross roads and I called Hank Janyzck at Gettysburg College (G-burg) who I met through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Lacrosse ministry. He made some calls and to try and secure a graduate assistantship (coaching in exchange for graduate tuition and a stipend) at a notable institution. I had just had a great Club lacrosse year and made the 1990 world team. At the time, I thought about a divinity degree, law school, masters in history, or a job in college coaching. I had recently taken a career exploration course at a public library that showed I should be teaching history at the college level. I had started reading allot of history books on my own and got excited about the opportunity of getting a masters in history and also trying out college coaching.