Spotlight on Dennis
"LVSC provides me the opportunity to enjoy teaching, mentoring and volunteering all with an international flair."
After retiring from a career in software development, Dennis became an LVSC tutor in 2018.
LVSC Journey: When I retired, I knew I wanted to do some type of volunteer work. I enjoyed teaching when I was in the Peace Corps after college, and living overseas I understand the challenges of not speaking the native language. LVSC provided me the opportunity to engage in teaching, mentoring and volunteering all with an international flair. My LVSC training started in January 2018. My first session with Rocky was March 2018 and my first session with Rahki was November 2020.
Most Memorable LVSC Moment: When my student reached his primary goal: to find a new job closer to home. He was working in NYC for a company that dealt mainly with his country of origin so he could frequently communicate in his native language. But the commute was long and with his second child on the way, he wanted to be closer to home. After working together for months, he finally felt confident enough to apply for a job with a local company in which he would have to only speak English. He was so excited and grateful when he was able to accept that offer.
Day Job: I retired in late 2018 after spending almost forty years in software development with AT&T, Bell Labs and IDT. I still own a small website development company that I run with my daughter and in addition to tutoring LVSC students, I volunteer at a food pantry and the NJAA Observatory.
Hobbies: domestic and international travel; landscape, wildlife and astrophotography; hiking, kayaking; gardening; fishing and wine.
Favorite Quote: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
Favorite Book: I read a lot of murder mystery/police procedurals. However, the recent books that I have found most compelling are nonfiction: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, Zealot by Reza Aslan, Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality by Robert Sapolsky, and various works on the history of ancient civilizations.
Favorite Food: Fois gras. I can never pass it up on a menu. But I eat, and love, almost everything!
R&R Spot: It is difficult for me to pick one place that I would choose for R&R. I really like the desert: Death Valley, Mojave, Atacama (Chile). I like any dark sky area where I can photograph. I love to be anywhere in Africa. But if I had to pick one spot where I love the calm, the quiet, the scenery, the ambiance…it would have to be SCUBA diving 80 feet below the surface of the ocean on a coral reef. I just don’t get to do it very often. Otherwise, sitting in the backyard by the pool with my wife, Celia, and a glass of wine works well!