Hello. Welcome to my personal and professional website.  I am a progressive Christian, father, writer, hobby farmer, photographer and nature enthusiast located in New York.  I look for inspiration and motivation wherever I may find it.  I write fiction and non-fiction, essays, opinion pieces, motivational and business pieces.  After life transforming experience and finding renewed solace in my Christian faith, I am open to motivational speaking.

Please follow my blog if you like what you read.  Please contact me with any thoughts, words, queries you may have.

Thank you.  And Enjoy!

S.T. “Bear”

Back to School!

Another school year begins!

I’m excited and glad to be back this term. Work-life balance has kept me pretty busy over the summer; that and studying for my LSATs, which are now only a few weeks away.

Im sitting here in a campus dining hall, in my mid-thirties, and remembering just how depressed, sad and exhausted I was when I sat in a campus dining hall almost twenty years ago.

It was almost a reality that I would not be sitting here this evening due to my financial state.  Unfortunately, I could not secure a private student loan this year which would allowed me to continue full-time and graduate in May.  However, I am at three-quarter time and optimistic that I can finish over the summer or next December at the latest.  The reality of the matter is that my returning to school was a long-ball move where I am succeeded academically and professionally albeit with a lot of short-term “bumps in the road”, as they say.

I hope to explore those “bumps” with you this year in my blog.  How does a 35 year old single father work raise his child and go to school?  Why?  And what went “wrong” the first time around?  I look forward to exploring those questions with you.  Right now, I wish I could share this burrito because it is absolutely delicious.

A Great Semester … Summer time!!!

Why do I keep the Serenity Prayer on my blog?  The Serenity Prayer is a constant reminder of the three things the God can provide: Peace, Strength and Wisdom. That through the Lord Jesus Christ – through the strength, serenity and wisdom that His teaching provides – are all things possible.
I have returned to college after fifteen years.  How do I feel to have completed my first semester?  Well … Blessed.

Being a nontraditional student is not easy, by any means.  This past semester I have worked full-time, studied full-time and raised my daughter full-time.  It’s a life that means waking up at 6am to be out the door by 7am and work until 5pm, have dinner ready, her homework and her school assignments, and then after a long day, i can finally begin my schoolwork and study until midnight.  Is that tiring?  You bet. It means fractions come before statistics, and TPS reports come before history papers.  That is by far the biggest obstacle facing nontraditional students – the here and now, the present.  And that can mean overcoming significant adversities.    Being a nontraditional student is like betting the farm on a long term gain that requires intensive and immediate investment.  My career is my present financial situation and means of supporting myself while I study, as well as finance my education.  But the time and investment that I make at my job certainly certainly eats into my studying time and schoolwork.  I have on several occasions rolled my eyes and thought “I can think of a dozen ways to better spend my time right now …”  Fractions come statistics, Alvin Ho before Hamlet, but I’m. It the one being graded on either fractions or Alvin Ho, yet these come first.  The most important thing that I can accomplish in my life, to finish my college education, is highly important to me but relatively low on the priority scale.  So where does it fit?  Well, I honestly couldn’t tell you what’s on TV and I’m starting my blog now as opposed this past January.

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (‭James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-4‬ NIV)

The Lord Jesus reassures us that when we are faced with trials that faith in Him strengthens our resolve and we shall overcome; furthermore, that we shall “be mature and complete.”  Wow!  At the end of the finish line is not just a degree, “the paper”, a new job, more money, whatever that finish line may immediately mean to you but we will grow with God and become “whole.”

So that’s why I keep the Serenity Prayer on my blog.  I had a great first semester back, I only have two more left before I’m off to law school.  I will right more but right now … Summertime has begun!!!

Introduction: About Me and My Blog


Welcome to my blog!  I am Stephen, also known as “Bear”, or here as “The Non Trad Dad”, and here is where I chronicle my journey as a working professional, a father, a writer, an ordained minister and a returning non-traditional adult student.

I have re-matriculated at a local college where I first began my collegiate journey more than fifteen years ago before transfer to a larger university, and then onward “to the road less travelled” as they say.   As so eloquently put by Marcel Proust, “the voyage of discovery is not in seeking in new landscapes but in having new eyes.”  It is with new eyes and fresh perspective that has been cultivated by maturity and experience that I have returned to college to complete my degree.  I am pursuing my degree in American Studies. Afterward, I plan on continuing my education pursuing a master’s in American Studies and a Juris Doctor (law degree) — Columbia University is my top choice and would be an absolute dream come true.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it!