My most awkward conversations begin with someone asking, “So, what do you do?”
I try to get away with, “I’m a teacher,” but that rarely satisfies anyone, so here’s the rundown:
1. My full-time job is at an art college, where I split my time between counseling students,
managing a team of language educators creating social media strategy and new technology solutions for academic support departments, and teaching a course on ‘ Surviving Succeeding in Art School’ for first-year students.
2. Beyond full-time, I have adjunct faculty positions teaching undergrad Public Speaking and graduate-level Art Education classes.
3. I am the Visual Arts Educator at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a contemporary art center, where I teach an after school program for inner-city high school kids and create art-making programs for school visits and public events. (unfortunately, they canceled their after-school visual arts program)
3. I lead culinary walking tours in San Francisco’s Mission District and occasionally at the Ferry Building Farmers Market with a great company called Edible Excursions.
5. Mobile Docent, is my most recent project, built around a mobile-web platform I built for museums and galleries to share rich content (audio, video, text and web links) with visitors through their web-enabled phones to enhance experiences with the work in the galleries, and is currently being piloted at YBCA with plans to expand into other galleries soon. I’d like to see this grow into broader mobile web solutions for arts and cultural institutions and consulting with them on social media strategies… if I can ever find the time. (Got bored with this one, but the initial launch was a great success and a lot of fun)
4. I like to make art when I can find the time, so I still engage in some silkscreen, furniture design and lately a lot of photography.
5. I write a fair bit, mostly about food on the blog, with some other stuff thrown in. Cooking is one of my greatest passions and stress relievers, so I spend a lot of time experimenting in the kitchen.
6. My Fascination with cocktails led me to launch Libation Lab, a site for beverage enthusiasts that aims to demystify the booze industry with educational materials on beer, wine and spirits, product reviews, recipes, documentation of my cocktail experiments and printable downloads for the home bartender. Keep an eye out for my next cocktail related project, “The Gibson“.
. I am the San Francisco CityScout for the awesome new UrbanDig iPhone app. (yeah, this whole startup evaporated)
7. I recently launched the Libation Lab Store, where I am selling custom bar accessories, what I am calling “Devious drinking devices for the discerning drinker”
9. On occasion I will do a web design or mobile app design gig, just for kicks.
I currently live in San Francisco, but was raised in Burlington, Vermont, where I spent 6 and 1/2 years in undergraduate study, which I managed to overlap with grad school by a week. I was a Political Science / Studio Art / German Language major with a Speech minor and I did a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction while getting credentialed to teach Art and Social Studies. I never felt like leaving academia, so I just added new majors and programs to delay what I thought to be inevitable.
After college, I spent three years teaching middle and high school students in Vermont, primarily working with kids who had disabilities that manifested as emotional and behavioral issues (I love the trouble-makers!). I moved to California to teach Art and Environmental Studies at a small charter high school for underserved urban youth in SF that was designed around an environmental justice mission, but was led by environmentalists with little business acumen and so it shuttered at the end of my first year, which is when I began everything you read about above.