Do you live in
Yes, since 1985.
Are you married?
Yes, 35 years to Caroline.
Do you have any
A son who's a public interest lawyer in Boston with two children, and a daughter in McLean, Virginia, who designs Web sites and is a nutritionist and mother of three children.
Are you retired?
What did you do when you were working full time?
For 30 years I was a professor of psychology and education of Columbia University Teachers College. I trained doctoral and masters students in psychotherapy and multimedia program design and organization development. I'm primarily known as a major theorist and model builder of the Adkins Life Skills Program: Career Development Program. It's a powerful learning tool that uses multimedia and group technologies to help disadvantaged and under-served adults and youth who've been thrown out of work. It's used by educational institutions in 46 states. There's also a Spanish Language Version. It's pioneered a whole new direction. My wife Caroline, who is also a psychotherapist with her own practice, has been with me much of the way.
I also served for three years in the Navy at the end of the Korean War.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to make a difference and help people. My parents were Congregational missionaries in the Middle East. I was born in Beirut. We had everything that went with money but money. I was raised with "Did we help our fellow man and were we ethical in the way we were brought up?" I went to Andover and to Princeton on a scholarship. I had to work to put myself through Princeton, which kind of shaped me. I appreciate the style and education of the privileged but I've spent most of my life working on the problems of the poor.
What are your main hobbies and interests?
I read. I love music. I love discussions. I belong to the Retired Men's Association and I attend the Professor Emeritus Association weekly lectures at Columbia where I talk to people of all different disciplines. I raised pigeons when I was 10. I had 24 pairs of White King pigeons, in Beverly, Mass.
Are you computer savvy?
Yes, but I don't yet Twitter. I have up in the attic one of the original IBMs.
Do you have a favorite sport?
I was a wrestler. My son is a wrestler. My granddaughter is a wrestler. She wrestles boys. My mother swam the Bosporous. My daughter is a karate star.
Do you have a favorite book?
I read all the time. I love Dickens. I did my bachelor's dissertation on Andre Malraux and T.E. Lawrence.
Do you have a favorite work of art?
I love ballet sculpture.
Do you listen to music?
I love music, classical, show tunes, jazz. I sing. I have 12,000 units of music on my Ipod.
Do you have a favorite piece of music?
Tchaikovsky, Bach and Chopin.
Do you have a favorite movie?
"Grapes of Wrath" and "Twelve Angry Men."
Do you have a favorite actor or actress?
What is a TV show that you watch regularly?
I watch the news, which I'm disappointed with most of the time.
Who do you think was the best President of the United States?
If you could tell the president of the United States one thing, now, what would it be?
You have a conciliatory personality and that's okay if the opposition is willing to conciliate, but you have to be willing to confront as well as to conciliate.
What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Sitting by the fire reading the New York Times and listening to music from my iPod played on my new speakers.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
That the news on TV is not educative. We should learn what the issues are. One of my hobbies is going to be to create a fairer press. Even Channel 13 will put on two conservatives speaking on the same side. You come away with the illusion you've been given a fair point of view. Therefore our representatives are not as action oriented, as accountable as we need them to be.
Do you have any regrets in life?
I regret that my psychological learning methods have yet to be a movement, that my life will end before I see what I have made come to pass. We do a terrible job helping people with their problems. The problems they confront are highly predictable. They change throughout their life span. The psychological, social part of their life is not understood or well taught. It takes a long time to move an idea to a prototype, to a mass movement, to effect policy.
What achievements in your life are you most proud of?
My wife and I have developed methodologies that would be effective on a mass scale. We work in the public interest.
Best piece of advice to give to the younger generation?
When making your dreams about work, about marriage, about the person you want to be, do not ignore the value dimension of choice. It's that which is going to give you the greatest satisfaction and allow you to be the most effective.
What are you looking forward to?
Everything. I'd like to continue what I'm doing and do more writing.
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