Well, it’s been a nice run pretending to be nobody, but it’s time to pull back the curtain and reveal that I am…*cue epic music* well, nobody that important, actually, unless you ask my wife and my daughter who I would hope think otherwise. My mom likes me too, as far as I know.
So who am I? You may be surprised to find out that my real name is not “DWD,” nor is it even “fasteddie9318,” which, well, actually that’s not surprising since those aren’t really names. My name is Derek Davison. I am a writer who is always looking for more things to write and a researcher who enjoys finding arcane things to research. I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a disturbingly long time ago, and lived most of my life without ever really leaving Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I had a plan: college (I studied history) and Master’s degree (public policy and management) from Carnegie Mellon University, work for a while, then on to the Ph.D. Ph.D. in what, you might ask? I had no idea. It was during that “work for a while” period that I had an opportunity to work abroad, in Qatar, for The RAND Corporation on a project to reform the Qatari education system. For a guy approaching 30 who had never lived outside of Pittsburgh this was kind of a major transition, and I saw far more of the world in the year and a half I was in Qatar (I did a lot of traveling whenever I could) than I had before or have since.
I decided that I wanted to study the Middle East, and when it was time for me to come back to the states I began a Master’s program in Middle East Studies at the University of Chicago. That Master’s program turned into a Ph.D. program, but in spite of the fact that I loved my time at Chicago, loved the faculty who taught me, loved and still love studying the history and affairs of the Middle East, the closer I got to the Ph.D. the more I began to feel like I was heading down the wrong path, at least for now. My wife, who has put up with far more from me and grad school than any person should have to put up with, got an incredible offer to come to Washington, DC, and work in one of those federal government jobs that you hear about on the teevee, so I decided to try my luck, put the Ph.D. on hold, and slowly (so very slowly) try to make a name for myself here doing what I love to do, writing about stuff that I’ve learned and am still learning.
I started this blog intending that I would remain anonymous, because I wanted to keep it cordoned off from my studies and eventual job search, but as my life has changed direction this blog has sort of become my “job search,” or at least a way to show prospective employers what kind of work I can do. So I’m unveiling the unknown guy behind this modest little blog, and letting the world know that I’m out here, I love to write, and I would love to write for you if you need that sort of thing. Seriously, I’ll write about anything, although I’ve been burned by that sort of thing in the past.
So that’s me. I’ve made a few changes around the internet tubes, like on Twitter where I’m now @dwdavison9318, and over on Facebook (*shudder*) where I’ve created a page for this blog here. Please go “like” the blog there if you’re into that sort of thing, but don’t expect me to stop by there any more frequently than I do now, which is about once a week or whenever my phone buzzes with some alert or another. As always I’m also on Tumblr; I tend to just post links there to my writing here, but every once in a while I do put something original there. Thanks for indulging me in this bit of self-absorption, and always thanks for reading. I hope you’ll stick around even now that you’ve seen my face.