The Last Word

A quick questionnaire with Ramón Gonzalez

smithsonian.com

1. Three words someone else would use to describe me are passionate, daring and relentless.

2. My greatest professional influence is getting people to work in an area that I know everyone in the world has told them to stay away from and sowing the seeds of passion within them.

3. My fondest memory is family picnics at Randall’s Island every year. For a child who grew up around concrete, it was my fantasy rainforest and half the neighborhood would come and celebrate with us.

4. The last book I read was Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males by Alfred Tatum; professional literature. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak; adolescent literature.  In order to develop reading you have to stay current with adolescent literature.

5. If I could have dinner with anyone living or dead it would be Malcolm X and Che Guevara. I would love to find out what drives them to stay committed to what they believe in.

6. Three things I can't live without are my family, my sense of purpose and my Blackberry!

7. The most pressing issue facing the world is lack of development of our young people.

8. The most important lesson I ever learned was that results are usually a direct measure of effort.

9. My advice for those just starting out in this profession is try to match what you love with your job because in education there are less tangible pats on the back. Let your passion and purpose be your guiding lights. Even on my worst day I feel like I can make changes in the world and because of that I haven’t missed a day of work in five years.

10. My motto is: “Think globally and act locally”.

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