My father taught at a church-affiliated college as a professor of philosophy. My mother, for much of my growing-up years, was a fifth-grade public school teacher. Although I was shaped by both of these models, and attracted to each, I initially came down on the side of elementary teaching. For close to 10 years I worked, mostly happily, with upper-elementary children in both public and private settings. Professionally, at least, I seemed to have much more to talk about with my mother.

Having subsequently completed a doctorate in the history of education (including much formal and informal study of philosophy) and having taught now for 15 years at a small Christian liberal arts college, friends often point out how much my life resembles that of my father.