About this.  This blog collects pieces of, perhaps, memorabilia as I continue my career and life transition. Yes, memorabilia we shall call it, pieces of the old, pieces of the new, and pieces of the transition. Might be a bit tricky…

About me is easier.

I was born and raised in Greensboro, NC, where I attended F.D. Bluford Elementary School.  My favorite teacher there was Mrs Lillian J. Kennedy. Mrs. Kennedy loved poetry and dance, and she passed that love on to us. From Bluford we went to Lincoln Street Junior High School, also in the neighborhood. At Lincoln the Anne C Stouffer Foundation found me and sent me to Woodberry Forest School. Later, I attended the Governor’s School of North Carolina, a summer enrichment program for the state’s top-ranked high school students.

After three years at North Carolina A&T State University, where i bounced back and forth between majors in electrical engineering, biology and economics, I enlisted in the Navy Nuclear Power program.  Following engineering training, I reported to the Sturgeon-class fast attack submarine, the USS Hammerhead (SSN-663).

Fifteen months and several operational patrols later, I volunteered for the pre-commissioning crew of the USS Michigan (SSBN-727 (B)), and served there from 1982 to 1985.  At the end of my enlistment I applied to and was selected for Naval Science Institute in Newport, Rhode Island, where I completed coursework, then on to the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) unit at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL.  There I earned a reserve Naval commission and a B.S. degree in Economics (summa cum laude, Distinguished Military Graduate).

Following graduation and surface warfare training in Newport, RI, I reported to the USS Luce (DDG-38), where I completed division officer tours in engineering and weapons systems.  In 1990, while still on active duty, I took and passed the Foreign Service written and oral exams, and joined the Foreign Service in May, 1992.  Later, while assigned to Embassy London, I completed an M.A. at the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London).  I met Filomena Pinto Pereira in London and we got married and lived happily ever after.

My last foreign service assignment, capping a 20-year foreign service career, was as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Near East Affairs bureau (2011-2012).  I am a MIT Seminar XXI fellow and a former member of the Warlord Loop.  I served overseas in Guinea-Bissau, London, Angola, Ghana, Egypt, Iraq, and Syria and retired from federal service in 2013.

Post-retirement, I completed a graduate degree in library and information science at Catholic University and landed a great first job as a reference and instruction librarian at Western Carolina University. Circumstances forced my return to the DC area. I have lots of potential research project ideas that I hope my time left on Earth will allow me to fully explore and exploit.

11 thoughts on “About

  1. Just came across your profile through Rhizo 15, and I noticed you list “cultural preservation” as an interest. I am an aficionado of string games, “Cat’s Cradle,” and wonder if you have any interest in sharing stories or information about string figures. I have a Web site devoted to my string game work:


    Thanks for any response.

    Warm regards, Fred


  2. Pingback: Blogging 101 – Day 6: Brushing up the About page | “The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” — Albert Einstein

  3. Hi there, I found you through blogging101 and your wonderful tagline! I am also a librarian, although in a much different vein–I work in a public library as a children’s librarian! I look forward to seeing your posts.


  4. Copyright Notice
    © Raymond Maxwell 2012-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Raymond Maxwell with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


    Regarding Parody and Satire

    PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, a poet may adapt a poem or a portion of a poem in order to (1) offer a direct or indirect critique of that poem, its author, or its genre; (2) present a genuine homage to a poet or genre; or (3) hold up to ridicule a social, political, or cultural trend or phenomenon.

    Regarding Allusion, Remixing, Pastiche, Found Material, etc.

    PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, a poet may make use of quotations from existing poetry, literary prose, and non-literary material, if these quotations are re-presented in poetic forms that add value through significant imaginative or intellectual transformation, whether direct or (as in the case of poetry-generating software) indirect.

    Regarding Education

    PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, instructors at all levels who devote class time to teaching examples of published poetry may reproduce those poems fully or partially in their teaching materials and make them available to students using the conventional educational technologies most appropriate for their instructional purposes.

    Regarding Criticism and Illustration

    PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, a critic discussing a published poem or body of poetry may quote freely as justified by the critical purpose; likewise, a commentator may quote to exemplify or illuminate a cultural/historical phenomenon, and a visual artist may incorporate relevant quotations into his or her work.

    Regarding Epigraphs

    PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, an author may use brief quotations of poetry to introduce chapters and sections of a prose work or long poem, so long as there is an articulable relationship between the quotation and the content of the section in question.

    Regarding Online Use

    PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, an online resource (such as a blog or web site) may make examples of selected published poetry electronically available to the public, provided that the site also includes substantial additional cultural resources, including but not limited to critique or commentary, that contextualize or otherwise add value to the selections.

    Regarding Literary Performance

    PRINCIPLE: Under fair use, a person other than the poet may read a poem to a live audience, even in circumstances where the doctrine otherwise would not apply, if the context is (1) a reading in which the reader’s own work also is included, or (2) a reading primarily intended to celebrate the poet in question.


  5. Found a link to your open letter. Beautifully stated! Thank you for standing up and writing it. I was also intregued by your history and your blog site. As a child, the library was one of my favorite spots on earth! I toggled between spending my time with my nose in a book and riding horses bareback on our small farm. Just wanted to say “hi” from Georgia.


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