I have studied t’ai chi with the School of T’ai Chi Chuan, Inc. and the T’ai Chi Foundation since 1982. I did my B1 apprenticeship in 1985 in Vermont at Bennington College and taught in New York City for a few years while I was completing my Ph.D. at Columbia University. I left New York in 1991 to accept a college teaching position at Wittenberg University (Springfield, Ohio) and then Hope College (Holland, Michigan) where I have been since 1993. I began the Arica work in the summer of 1982 in Maplecrest, NY at the same time I began learning t’ai chi and completed all the trainings through the Diamond level. While I was a graduate student I worked for the Arica Institute (1982-1984) as well as the T’ai Chi Foundation (1987-1989), assisting Patrick Watson in early fund-raising efforts. My interview with Patrick was published in the T’ai Chi Press in the early nineties and an abridged version appeared on the Foundation’s website for a time a few years ago.
After a period of inactivity as an apprentice, I went to the U.S. summer training 2006 at Goucher College in Maryland. I subsequently attended our Summer Training at Menla in upstate New York as well as US summer trainings at Bennington 2008 – 2010 and the U.S. Winter Training in Chicago in 2007. Since 2007, I have been teaching t’ai chi classes, with occasional visits from senior teachers, as part of Hope College’s Wellness Program for faculty and staff. I am currently the Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Director of the Asian Studies program at Hope, and live near the campus with my wife Jeanine, our daughter Joanna, and our two cats, Jill and Jane, who for years have been trying to teach me how to walk.
If elected to the TCF Board, I would be honored to serve and to share my experience in higher education in the areas of teaching, course design, and administrative leadership. I can also share my perspective as a fellow t’ai chi student who knew founder Patrick Watson and watched his vision evolve and grow out of our shared efforts and dedication. I also offer my experience as a t’ai chi teacher “in the field” as the Foundation continues to retool its curriculum and teacher training program.