Meet the Staff – Joseph Edwards

| November 8, 2018

Joe2Are you a Teachers College student, and, if so, what are you studying?

No, I am currently studying economics at the New School.

Where’s your hometown?

Albany. But I’ve been all over the place. For most of my childhood I lived in Madison, Wisconsin.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

The first career I ever wanted to have was to be a train conductor. I watched way too much Thomas the Tank Engine as a kid.

Your favorite meal?

That’s a tough question. But I’d probably have to go with a good curry.

Song you love no matter how many times you hear it:

Solidarity Forever.

A country you’d like to visit?

I’ve always wanted to visit Russia. For a while Russian literature was all I read. I think Russia has the greatest writers in the world, a beautiful language, and a fascinating history.

What was your first job?

Sales associate at Party City.

What has been your worst job?

Sales associate at Party City. If you’ve ever been to a Party City – and I hope you haven’t had the misfortune of going to one, but if you have – you probably know that the place reeks of cheap rubber masks and cardboard and has the appearance of a depressing old warehouse. If you’ve spent enough time there, you will also note that the same ten awful, somewhat party-related, songs play on repeat (I want candy…).

What has been your best job?

Working at Gottesman Libraries of course!

What do you remember about your first day of school?

I don’t remember my first day of school but my mom says that I was kicking and screaming from the moment I got out of bed to the moment I entered the school. That sounds like it accurately describes how I felt about my K-12 education.

A book you strongly recommend?

I’m currently working my way through Robert Caro’s biographical series on Lyndon Johnson. I’m only on the second volume but the first volume, The Path to Power, is easily the greatest work of nonfiction I have ever read.

A sport you enjoy playing (or watching)?

I’ve never been very athletic but I’ve played (that is, warmed the bench and went to practice) football and I enjoy watching football.

…Best places to read?

At a library. There’s nothing to distract you from reading and it’s the only place I can think of besides church that’s supposed to be quiet.

Complete the sentence:  

Most fascinating person I’ve ever met was…

My grandpa. Probably because he was my grandpa but still, I find his life story fascinating. For a while he was charge  d’affaires at Sri Lanka’s Foreign Office. A firm believer in the Non-Aligned Movement, he had the chance to meet with other like-minded individuals that were not interested in being pawns in the political game America and the Soviet Union were engaged in during the Cold War. He befriended the leader of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, and met with Zhou Enlai, Jawaharlal Nehru, and others in an effort to keep the developing world out of the orbit of the two superpowers. He was a representative on the UN Security Council from 1960-61 during the only time Sri Lanka was elected to it. Afterwards, he worked for the UN Development Program, dealing with problems such as the “brain drain”, a phenomenon where developing nations invest in the higher education of their citizens, only for those citizens to emigrate and find higher paying work in the developed countries. After retiring he worked for the Vatican, keeping it up to date on developments at the UN, and was knighted by Pope John Paul II.

Joseph Edwards is a new Library Services Associate at the Gottesman Libraries. Please join us in welcoming him!