Notes from the Field

Professionals tell the story of their journey to a satisfying career.

June 14: A Conversation with John Matteson

Building the Ball Field: How One Man Got Off the Corporate Merry-Go-Round and Found Success and Satisfaction in Academe

John Matteson wanted to be a lawyer from the time he was twelve. He followed that ambition through Princeton and Harvard, only to discover that his true talents and temperament lay elsewhere. At thirty, he decided to risk it all for something that mattered more. He walked away from a secure but unfulfilling life as a North Carolina attorney, made the switch from a Mustang convertible to a subway fare card, and entered the English Ph.D. program at Columbia University in New York. Now, twenty-seven years later, he has a distinguished professorship, a Pulitzer Prize, and a life that he never dared to imagine. John is coming back to Raleigh, where his dream began, to tell his story: how he managed to raise a daughter while writing a dissertation; how he parlayed a tenuous substitute teaching gig into a tenured position; and how his experiences of family and fatherhood led him to write the book that changed his life. [2 p.m., Burns Auditorium, NC State College of Design, with a reception to follow]