Began in 1969
Retired in 2008
I came to America in 1960 at the age of 19, on a boat, along with a thousand other immigrants. I bunked with eight other men in steerage, below sea level.
Although I had a Fulbright scholarship lined up for a year’s study at Union College in Schenectady, NY, I first spent nearly four months roughing it in New York City. I didn’t know a soul in this giant country. I arrived with $50 in my pocket and my English was practically non-existent. Those were the loneliest months of my life. During that first year in America, I also hitch hiked around the Continent and into Mexico, traveling widely a la Jack Kerouac.
I ended up getting a PhD in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, after which I taught at Sac State, as well as the University of Wisconsin (branch campus), Penn State (main campus), UC Riverside, CSU Hayward, and several other places.
In addition to Sociology, I also taught in Criminal Justice, Recreation and Leisure Studies, Business, and I even taught French 2B, thanks to Claude Duval. I worked with Tom Griffith in Academic Advising, and during my last 10-15 years I got involved in governance, including the Senate Executive Committee, Council for University Planning, University Curriculum Committee (chair), and chairing program reviews. Diversifying in this way was the key for lasting nearly 40 years.
I also published a lot, including textbooks, scholarly research and journal articles.
I remember my early days at Sac State as the most formative and most memorable. The counterculture and the protests were in full swing when I arrived in 1969. Joe Pattison promptly put me (along with Victor Comerchero) in charge of an avant-garde TV program; There was a lot of activism with people like Don Sturtevant, Jay Andre, etc. My lasting CSUS friends include Gene Barnes, Henry Chambers, Don Gerth, Ayad AlQazzaz and others.
In retirement I am, curiously, as busy as I was while teaching. Like almost all the others who have submitted “reflections,” I travel a lot. My mother lives in Holland and she is turning 100 this summer. I go there at least twice a year. My wife, Anita, and I have traveled to Mediterranean Europe, and over the years I have driven around in Russia, Morocco, Australia, Korea, Japan, and of course in my country of birth - Hungary (whose immediate past president is a friend).
I have an active blog, “European-American Blog,” and I still write a lot. Since retirement, I have completed three books, including a self-published autobiography and a thus far unpublished future history of the world. I have also published a few articles.
I ride my road bike, play in a community band, give flute recitals and spend time with my grandchildren every occasion I get. My nearly half a century in Sacramento and at Sac State has been a great ride!