Alumni Letter from David Mogolov (CAS ’00)

Since graduating in 2000, I’ve remained in the Boston area. If I were to divide this update between what’s changed and what’s the same, that would be about the only entry in the latter category. The overview: I’ve been married for a year now, am living in Cambridge (for another couple weeks before moving), work as an editor on music and English titles for Bedford/St. Martin’s, a college textbook publisher, and have spent a fair amount of time writing and performing comedy shows, primarily at ImprovBoston (Yes, I write at a theater that features improvised comedy, and yes though it’s called ImprovBoston, it’s in Cambridge. Go figure).

The details: I got married last June. My wife is a native New Englander, works at Wellesley College (from which she graduated), and is the best writer and editor a writer and editor could marry. We’re living amid boxes right now as we prepare to move to Arlington in July, and our cat thinks the boxes are the best furniture we own.

When I graduated from BU, I didn’t really know exactly what I wanted to do for a living. There’s no way I would have wanted to do what I’m doing now, because I had no idea the job existed. Like most true surprises, it’s interesting: it’s my job to acquire new books in music and developmental English. In practice, that means that I travel all over the country visiting campuses and academic conferences to meet with professors about their ideas for books. The projects vary widely. A day might start in the English department talking with instructors about basic reading classes, and move immediately to a conversation with a jazz history instructor about American race relations in the 1950s, before going on to meet a faculty member who’s pioneering the school’s online course initiative. A lot of my conversations get down to the basics of how students learn, what motivates them to be there, and what it means, in a given class or discipline, to have succeeded academically.
Those conversations, and when I’m in the office (or on a plane) reading a manuscript and asking the same questions, are when my philosophy studies are most obviously relevant. If you’ve tried to write an A paper on The Critique of Pure Reason, you’ve taken on a writing task that’ll prepare you for responding to ANY manuscript. Also, Epictetus is a good behavioral model if you’re a frequent traveller: if United cancels a flight, don’t fight United. That flight is cancelled.

I hope that does it for an update. There are a thousand other tiny details that I find fascinating, but which are probably best suited for other venues, like someone’s Red Sox blog or cookbook. I hope it’s enough to say that life is pretty good, and I’m doing well, reading plenty, and surrounded by decent, intelligent people. Six years out from graduation, that’s plenty for me.

Best,

David Mogolov