Today's Featured Biography
D. Kenneth Dahl
Went to Dartmouth after O'Connell, dropping out in early 1968 and dropping back in to graduate in 1970. Started a Ph.D. program at Cornell in 1970 in the Government Dept., but with political theory as main focus, 19th C. European intellectual history as a subordinate focus. Met Marilyn there, who had an identical program (except my dissertation was on Nietzsche, hers on Hegel). We both passed our doctoral exams and got married in Sept., 1973. Both wanting a break from academia, before going to West Germany for dissertation research, we went out to Oregon, where we spent almost a year as houseparents in a half-way house for juvenile delinquent boys, and doing some backpacking in the Cascades. Then we went to Germany, where we, like many expatriate Americans, sort of got lost for 11 years--studying at the university in Heidelberg, teaching for the University of Maryland's European Division, having children, and enjoying Europe. Finally returned to the States in 1985, relocating first to Princeton, NJ, and then to Hopewell Township, NJ, and in 2008 to Woodstock, MD. I have raised and educated our boys, while Marilyn pursued her career and paid the mortgage. I am now a full-time novelist.
I have never been able to pursue an interest only casually, which is why it's fair to say I have no hobbies. I am passionate about my sons and my writing. I am still opinionated about politics, and even more so now about Nietzsche and others.
I used to photograph and do orienteering, but not anymore. I seldom miss seeing a good art film. After all those years in Germany, I retain a love of microbrew beer, white wine, and dense, whole-grain bread.
Marilyn and I have two sons, Sam (1980)and Joel (1983). Marilyn was for several years Deputy Health Commissioner for New Jersey, and retired in 2015 as Director, Division of Acute Care Services in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Sam graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth in 2002, double majoring in Studio Art (honors) and comparative religion. He is now a professional artist, who received his MFA from UT/Austin in 2010, and was until recently the founding art teacher at Anthem Prep in Arizona. Joel graduated cum laude from Dartmouth in 2005, having majored in philosophy of religion, with strong interests in politics and the Dartmouth Outing Club. He now lives in Pasadena, CA, where he's trying to launch a TV screenwriting career, with a day job at USC.
My education rap sheet reads as follows:
1964-1970: Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, AB Government.
1970-1973: Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, MA, ABD Government (political theory).
1975-1981: Universitaet Heidelberg, Heidelberg, West Germany, dissertation research for Cornell, studied Philosophie.
Never did finish the doctoral dissertation, which was on the political implications of Nietzsche's epistemology.
Have since transformed much of that work into seven novels, five finished, another which I quit, and the seventh which is now about one-quarter written.
While doing dissertation research in Germany, fell into being full-time father for our two boys, for I was at home when they were born and my wife Marilyn was in charge of negotiations between USAREUR and the German Insurance Commission. Likewise, fell into homeschooling our boys in 1989, finishing in June, 2001. Had started writing my first novel during the summers; now working full-time on my seventh.
At long last, just before Marilyn retired in 2015, we bought our dreamhouse in Roque Bluffs, Maine (far northern coast, just below Canada), an ocean-front property which we've named Morgenroete (German, literally "morning redness," best translated as "dawn of day"). We now live there 8 months a year. Our house is 60 miles from the nearest traffic light, and 90 miles from the nearest multiplex movie theater. Life is good.
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