Banner Logo


Short Personal Introduction

Michael G. Terpstra
11806 SE Ankeny St. 
Portland, Oregon, 97216
Phone: (503) 282-0362
E-mail: Mike Terpstra


  I have the privilege of belonging to the first wave of Baby Boomers. While many of my generation struggled with mortgages and retirement accounts, I chose to reinvent myself. At the age of 44, I began doctoral studies with no visible means of support except the earnings of a spouse and several student loans.

Now for the choice details - 

My birthplace was Honolulu during the period when Hawaii was a territory of the United States.  My parents departed three years later for the islands of Micronesia, specifically Ponape. Since I was not yet adept at foraging, I left with them and spent the next 10 years in the South Pacific.  Eventually after the trials and tribulations of correspondence courses, and sporadic years in public school classrooms from Portland, Oregon, to Edinburgh, Scotland, I graduated from high school. 

Needless to say, my spin on formal education is uniquely colored by my experiences during my impressionable years. This may explain a BA in Behavioral Sciences in the 1970s, a Masters Degree in the 1980s and a Ph.D. in the 1990s. It took quite a few years to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. Now and then to earn the necessary rent and lunchmeat, I ventured into the real world - served in Viet Nam, obtained licensure as an RN in which field I toiled for almost 15 years, sold cemetery property, presided over a failed non-profit business, attended seminary, moved 16 times and successfully began a compost heap. 

Family ties include two children, three grand-children, three great-grand-children, a long-suffering wife, and parents who both have doctoral degrees of their own.  I am convinced that inclinations toward post-graduate degrees are genetically programmed - my daughter occassionally making noises about an eventual doctorate. 

If anyone wants to immerse themselves in my interests, check out my website. I even have connections to photos of my grandchildren.  (This, I surmise, is the logical extension of the perpetual grandparental photos in a wallet.) 

This next section is the educational (boring?) part - 

I found Sociocybernetics and the study of Luhmann in particular to be the source of answers to many questions discovered during my extended academic process.  I have never ceased to consider certain topics, no matter what I was doing to earn my bread or my next degree.  Among the foundation elements in the recesses of my gray matter are statistical research, an ethnological spin to each area of study, a deep-seated interest in theory and an abiding affection for the obscure. 

All in all, I'd say my family crest should exhibit the motto: "Let It Never Be Said That I Did It the Easy Way!"