I used to be a competitive figure skater. I also used to love to ride my mountain bike. My life changed when I was diagnosed with cancer in the Fall of 1997. The surgery on my hip was a complete success though the recovery was long and arduous. During the spring and summer of 1998 I became involved in several new activities as I made progress in my recovery.
I've been something of an amateur Architect for as long as I can remember. I am a partner in the Kirsch/Shepherd construction corporation which builds about one custom home per year in the Palo Alto area of California. During the earliest parts of my recovery I had people bring me library books on Italian Villas and I immersed myself in the works of the great Italian Rennasaince artists and Architects including Vignola, Michaelangelo, and Palladio. From this study I have drawn up a full set of floor plans for a three story Italian Villa to be constructed in the city of Los Altos Hills.
As my mobility increased I decided to take a couple of courses at Stanford. I suffered from one final hospitalization but still managed to attend most lectures as I was walking around with my cane at this point. By the end of the summer I was working full time for the construction corporation, and part time with a movie crew shooting a short film in 16mm.
I am very proud to have completed the two courses, and even more excited at the prospect of graduating with my S.M. on time, despite my losing half a year to illness.