About Herb

Over shoulder smile colorI’m a writer who, in my earlier life, was an academic and college administrator. My research life focused on the ways that people developed relationships with the places in their lives, specifically in the case of American teenagers as they navigated landscapes not of their choosing.

From college dropout through Berkeley graduate… from doctoral student to post-doc teacher of writing to academic administrator… I encountered a million things that my non-academic background had never prepared me for. And because of that, I’ve written The PhDictionary to try to answer some questions you don’t even know you have yet.

Paradoxically for someone who studies people’s relationships with place, I have lived in Michigan, Texas, California, Wisconsin, California again (three different cities), North Carolina and Massachusetts. For the past five years, and hopefully for good, I’ve lived in a 170-year-old farmhouse in rural Vermont, where my wife Nora Rubinstein and I have a perfect writer’s infrastructure: a wood stove, two cats, fiber-optic broadband, and no cell coverage.