I spent most of my formative years struggling to discover something - anything - I could do well and that may offer some level of financial stability. I was decent at sports, but not good enough to parlay a series of sneakers, cleats, sweat-soaked jerseys and jockstraps into a scholarship, much less a career.
My high school grades were sufficient to get me into college, but my performance across a myriad of subjects hadn't revealed a clear - or any - career path. After flailing around for two years with an "undeclared" major, a positive experience in an entry-level economics class nudged me toward the business disciplines. Finally...a path forward. Thank you Econ 101.
As I snaked through the business curriculum at Towson University, I took several classes with an Economics professor named Irvin Weintraub. When registering for classes, I sought him out. I admired his ability to illuminate economic concepts with practical, real-world examples. He was a great storyteller.
I met with Professor Weintraub after the first semester of my senior year to retrieve a final exam. It had been an essay test - four of five questions, a composition book and 50 minutes to make or break your semester. Yikes. Where for art thou oh great multiple-choice test???
I know, I'm dating myself with the composition book reference...it was 1994, okay? Anyway, I arrived at his office on edge. Theoretically I was going to graduate in about six months and I had no room for failure. Professor Weintraub made eye contact with me as I arrived at his office door and muttered a gravely, "Ahhh...Guy."
After flipping through his stack of composition books he pulled mine and handed it to me. Before I had an opportunity to end the suspense and confirm my grade, he asked bluntly, "Guy...what do you want do with your life?" I was 21 years old. Frankly I had no idea. I figured "chase girls and drink beer" was probably inappropriate so I muttered something about loving sports and working in the front office of a professional franchise one day. He offered a wry grin and a few supportive words. He then paused and said, "well, whatever you do, you can write." Huh? I can? Who knew?
I got an A on the exam and Professor Weintraub had jotted down a few kind words. I went to his office that day desperately seeking a grade; I left with a nugget of knowledge and a psychological pat on the back that I have never forgotten. Thanks Professor Weintraub.
Ronald N Guy Jr is a happily married father of two residing in Southern Maryland. He graduated from Towson University in 1995 and earned a MBA from Florida Institute of Technology in 1998. He married his bride, Michelle, in 2002 and welcomed children in 2003 and 2006. Ronald is a passionate writer with six years of professional experience and over 300 published works in a wide variety of topics.
In addition to writing, Ronald enjoys sports, music, cooking, brewing beer, environmental causes, history, keeping busy, pondering life's purpose and, most of all, striving to be a better father for his two children. His reads mostly biographies, classic fiction and anything by Hunter S. Thompson. He is an ordained Dudeist priest, plays a passable bass guitar and is awful on acoustic guitar. Music is never far from his ear; craft beer is never far from his lips. His favorite household chore is running to the recycling center; his least favorite is everything else. His perfect day ends with a hug from his kids, a few quiet moments of reflection and the opportunity to do it all again tomorrow.
Ronald's blog, The Domestic Warrior, is a tribute to the often under-appreciated modern father. Ronald, a proud member of Generation-X, and his fellow fathers are not the disconnected breadwinner dads of yesteryear - they are domestic warriors. They still bring home their share of the bacon, but they also cook, clean, do laundry, change diapers, cover late night feedings, soothe unwelcomed visits by the boogie man and shuttle kids to activities. It is a role they assumed without expectation, adequate self-help resources (where's the male version of Oprah or The View or myriad of books for fathers?) and with little social sympathy. But they did it - Ronald and his fellow domestic warriors. Still, the stereotype of the domestically incompetent father - something of a teenager with gray hair and a suit - persists. Who are these dads that can't correct math homework, prepare dinner and field an after-hours call from work - at the same time? They are no one Ronald knows. His peers bring it strong during the workday and arrive home for second shift chock full of domestic duties. Want the truth about the modern father? Or are you a fellow domestic warrior in need of an appreciative virtual hug? Visit his blog.
Ronald N. Guy Jr.
Leonard Thompson wrote for a local Maryland paper many years ago. Victoria Plank wrote extensively about her long, brave battle with breast cancer. Her profound thoughts on the power and fragility of life are fuel for the human spirit.
Mr. Thompson is my grandfather. Ms. Plank was my mother-in-law. They are my inspirations. I chase their standard with every written word...
In no particular order in any category...
Movies: Saving Private Ryan; Gladiator; Braveheart; Rocky; the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy; Indiana Jones; The Big Lebowski; The Shawshank Redemption.
80's Honorable Mention Movies: Rocky II & III; Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Back to the Future; Breakfast Club; Rambo.
Books: Life by Keith Richards; Days of Grace by Arthur Ashe; Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Freidman; The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger; My Life by Bill Clinton; Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain; Chronicles by Bob Dylan; The Abide Guide by Oliver Benjamin and Dwayne Eutsey
Adult Beverages: Dogfish Head Black & Blue; Flying Dog Ragin' Bitch, Victory Moonglow Weizenbock, Stoudt's Double IPA; whiskeys...Elijah Craig and George Dickel No. 12. I could go on and on. Hey, it's research.
Foods: Anything with a conscience, sustainably harvested and local; nothing out of a box. My guilty pleasure: Ben & Jerry's AmeriCone Dream.
Music: Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, old-school blues...any of it, Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, Ray Lamontagne, any live Bruce Springsteen or Dave Matthews I can get my hands on, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jack White, John Coltrane, Eminem, Led Zeppelin, The Head and the Heart and anything on VINYL!!!
80's Honorable Mention Music: Michael Jackson, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Joan Jett, AC/DC, Metallica, Guns 'n Roses, Van Halen, Kix and first generation hip hop (Beasties, Run-DMC, Tone Loc, Young MC). Yes, I am shameless.
What I'm reading: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
I Just Read: The Boys on the Bus by Timothy Crouse; Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass; Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
What I'm listening to: James Brown and John Coltrane (on vinyl), Red Hot Chili Peppers, Margo Price, Butch Walker and, as always, 89.7 WTMD - Towson University radio.
What I'm drinking (I'm committed to constant research): Clyde Mays's Bourbon, Moonglow Weizenbock from Victory, Best Brown Ale from Bell's, Ruination Double IPA from Stone and a bunch of stuff from The Burley Oak.
What I'm watching: American Pickers, Soundbreaking on PBS, Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, The United Shades of America, The History Channel and, of course, a whole lotta sports.
Writer, Dad, Sports Dude