A Brief Autobiography

Born and raised in Belfast, N. Ireland, I quit school and went to work full-time at age 14. At the same time, I started attending the Belfast College of Technology (BCT) three evenings per week, three hours per evening. And when I turned 16, I became an apprentice electrician with a railroad. Five years later, I was a journeyman electrician. I loved the work and my work mates. This time at the tools,as we say in Ireland, was a wonderfully happy time in my life. As it happened, I also did well at the Belfast College of Technology evening classes. My mixed feelings about school gradually turned to love. After about eight years part-time at the BCT, I obtained a British Higher National Certificate (HNC) in electrical engineering and mathematics. This entitled me to teach basic technical subjects and I did, teach that is, three evenings a week for three years. Meanwhile, I had graduated in the full-time workplace also: from electrician to draftsman to designer to senior designer. Years later I became an Electrical Design Supervisor. I supervised the design of electrical installations associated with new industrial plants such as mining installations, oil and gas installations and utility work. I spent my entire career in electrical work first in Ireland, then in Canada starting in 1964, and finally in the good ole United States of America starting in 1981. I became a naturalized American citizen in 1987. A peak experience in my electrical career was working as a Principal Design Supervisor for Fluor Canada Ltd in Calgary, Alberta. And a highlight of that job was preparing the curriculum for and teaching Fluor Canada’s first Basic Electrical Design Course. Select the following link to view the ten-page course report.(opens a new browser window). I look back on my electrical career with something akin to happy nostalgia. Select the following link to open a new browser window and view the one-page summary of my Work History and Education. Retired since 1985, I still have an interest in electrical technology and I am an amateur radio operator, at the amateur extra level. My call sign is AB3GN.

However, in my 30s in Canada I became aware that although I had achieved a reasonable amount of success in my technical field, I knew little about the humanities. I felt the need, for example, for some basic education in English and Philosophy. So I took, as a mature student, some introductory university courses in Philosophy and also in English composition. I quickly became hooked on the pleasures and consolations of Philosophy, as a hobby that is. To cut the story short, over a period of 7 years, I obtained undergraduate and master's degrees in philosophy, plus a B.Ed. I concentrated on logic, critical thinking and the philosophy of science. But I also explored ethics, the philosophy of religion, political philosophy, and the history of philosophy. Today, my interest in philosophy continues. Most recent interest: the Philosophy of Fiction.