Peace Corps Experience
- Cornell University
I trained for two months at Stanford as part of Philippines Group 21, probably the largest contingent ever sent to that country (or maybe anywhere; we had more than 250 trainees at three training sites). We had an additional month of in-country training. My batch was in higher education, the other two being in elementary education. I was assigned as science supervisor of a diocesan Catholic school in the province, where I taught college science classes, worked with student teachers in the elementary laboratory school, developed curricula, designed a laboratory, stocked it, collected books for the classrooms and library, secured laboratory equipment from abroad, and wrote textbooks. My PCV housemate was writing a grammar of the local dialect, which became the first book I ever edited. I extended my service by one year to work on two science curriculum development projects in Manila, concentrating on the local manufacture of laboratory equipment.
The Peace Corps changed my life completely in so many ways: 1) The academic field I subsequently studied (international education). 2) My lifelong profession (editing). 3) My personal life (marriage). 4) My residence over most of the ensuing years (Philippines). The Peace Corps was literally the defining period of my life.
After three years of service in the Philippines, I returned to do two master's degrees and a doctorate in education and international affairs at Columbia University.