Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Graduate School or Work?

Upon graduation and having been accepted into The Master of Arts (Religious Studies) program at the Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS), I intended to pursue the two-year graduate program as a foundation for service in youth counseling. Owing to the lack of financial resources, I made the decision to defer my admissions for one year in an effort to gain some work experience and save money.

A very good friend of mine, Robert Landes happened to share my situation with his father then President/CEO of his own international company and he offered to help me by securing an interview for me with representatives of ARA Food Services in Philadelphia, PA. Weeks later I was offered my first job working as a trainee in the hospitality industry at Newark 's United Hospital located in an area of Newark defined by Central Avenue and West Market Street in the city's West Ward. I stayed in that job position for eight months before securing a higher paying job working for Irving Trust Company at One Wall Street in New York City. I started there working the grave yard shift which after 1 year absolutely did not agree with my body.

In the spring of 1979, I went out on the evening of May 24th to a house party in East Orange with my then roommate, Jan Peter Mitchell, who was also a former student at Holy Cross College and now attending Seton Hall University Law School. The party was being given for both Seton Hall University Law School and Seton Hall University Medical School students. I was neither and thus, Pete's guest.

That night, I met the lovely Wilda Iris Smithers who was attending Seton Hall University Medical School in Newark. After six months of dating we became engaged and another six months after that we were married on June 14, 1980 at Macedonia Baptist Church, her families church located in Lakewood, New Jersey.

An attempt was made on my part a few years later to revisit pursuing my original objective after college by applying to Drew Theological School. I was accepted however one of their requirements was that all full time students must was live in a dormitory setting on campus in Madison, New Jersey. By now, this was no longer an appealing lifestyle for my new bride who had experienced many years of living in cramped quarters while pursuing her medical education and continuing professional training.

It seemed then that maybe the time had now come for me to part with past aspiration altogether especially if we had any plans of growing our family in the near future. All of a sudden my life-style of working man, husband and one day father began operating for the longest on auto-pilot. Certainly not without bumps, bruises and minor collisions like most other people along the way. Final Destination, not quite clear yet due to remaining fog-like conditions.