BIOGRAPHY of Jorge Rodriguez-Walling
Born in Havana Cuba in 1954 and raised in the United States by parents the best has ever seen, I grew up fast in Miami, Florida. As an immigrant child of six years old, English was hard and school was worse, but survivable. As a high school student, it was a time of self-discovery and free expression; it was also a time, however, that I never really came to understand very well because of my preoccupations with girls, parties, studies, and sports. For me, it was a time of innocent living without the repressing stress of modernity hugging at you for most of the day.
My college years I took a little more seriously. Graduating from St. Patrick High School in 1973, I began to take more notice of our society and the changes that were occurring within our government and abroad. I was already a student of History but without yet knowing what I wanted to do with it, I decided to try and start teaching the history and politics of our time.
Excited at the prospect, I pursued my remaining undergraduate years at Florida International University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1977. And just as quickly, I landed a teaching position at La Salle High School. Once I started teaching, I knew I wanted to further develop this craft.
In 1982, I started a Masters program at Nova Southeastern University and finished it within a year's time, but it wasn't enough for me though. So in 1998 I decided to start a Ph.D program at Florida International University with a concentration in Comparative Politics, but I would fall just short of completing the program (oral exam and dissertation pending), due largely to personal family health issues at the time.
I now teach at a private school, currently serving as Department Head of History and Social Science, and have been awarded and generously recognized by colleagues and the teaching community alike for rendering quality classroom time to the art of teaching and learning. I have been teaching for 35 years now, both at the university and high school levels, and one of the most important things I came to discover is that teaching is only as good as what you listen to, and share with others, within a discussion of facts and issues. That interchange is priceless, as well as genuine.
The highest honor in my teaching career was to be selected as the recipient of the Deaver Foundation Award in 1999 for "Excellence in Teaching." I think this came along because I've always had something to say about the history in our past and the politics of our time. There is much to be said, and even more to consider, regarding the state of our mind-set in how we view each other, and the choices we make to live with each other in the world. May history help us to see more clear and simple.