Who am I?

Steve StockdaleWell, I’ve never been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a pawn, or a king. But I’ve written a poem. I’ve played six sports, the clarinet, and a scientist. I’ve saluted, navigated, proposed, presented, reported, designed, coded, developed, researched, organized, solicited, taught, read, studied, and written. I was born in New Mexico, bred in Texas, educated in Colorado, trained in California, served in North Dakota, married, parented, and divorced in Texas.

Things that float my boat: authenticity, originality, individuality, nonconformity, creativity, cooperation, perspective, and sportsmanship. Things that light my hair on fire: lemmings, posers, deceivers, dividers, hypocrites, image-is-everythingers, conventional wisdom worshippers, Elmer Gantrys, born-yesterdays, and just-win-babies.

Why am I here?

Well, I’m here in New Mexico. I moved to Santa Fe in 2009 because I decided I wanted to be someplace different to begin my Act V. I was looking for an environment where “people cared by not caring.”

That’s a phrase my daughter came up with on her first trip to New York City in 1999. We had flown up to see “Rent” and visit one of my best friends from high school. One morning we had breakfast in a sidewalk café on Union Square. All varieties of the human condition were on display. My daughter, about to turn 16, observed how these people “didn’t seem to care” what other people were doing, or how they were dressed, or which language they spoke. She noted that nobody stood out as “different” because there wasn’t really a common “sameness.” Which led to her rather profound, if paradoxical, insight about tolerance: “It’s kinda like the people care by not caring.”

Why am I here? Well, because those boat-floating and hair-on-fire things listed above are consequential to me. I believe in the wise old observation that “we discriminate against people to the degree we fail to distinguish between them.” I consider myself a conscientious differentiator, a deliberate discerner, difference detector, and an inference maker.

In 2010, I decided I needed to channel my energies toward something that would integrate my interests, challenge my intellect, and provide a foundation for my fifth career. I applied for and was accepted into the Educational Psychology MA program at the University of New Mexico.

As I neared completion of the MA in May 2012, I discovered/admitted that my overriding passions come together at the nexus of Educational Psychology (how we teach), Neuroscience (how we learn), and Technology (how we connect.)

I found a position at the community college extension campus of New Mexico State University in Grants, New Mexico, that allowed me to begin pursuing these passions. That led to my current position with the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque starting in 2015.