Biographical Sketch

Robert Greenhouse


Robert Greenhouse

In Hicksville High Also Known As  (AKA): Bob

Spouse/Partner… Carolina Greenhouse

Were you classmates at HHS? No

Where did you meet? How long ago? Mexico City , 1980

Married How Long? Nearly 30 years

Children/Grandchildren: Two girls 29 and 26.

Where do you currently live? Newark , California

Favorite Subject in High School: Math, Chemistry, Latin and Band

Name of my Favorite Teacher: Mr. Jones (history), Mr. Shanley (English), Mr. Giambolvo (calculus), Mr. Munch (physics), Mr. Plochocki (history), Mr. Goldberg (Latin)

Favorite Place to meet Friends Outside of School: At a band rehearsal (The Megatones, The Tempests).

Favorite Non-Academic School Club or Activity: Any kind of music

Occupation/Trade/Profession: Medicinal / organic chemist

Education Beyond High School : Fordham University (4 years, BS), University of Rochester (4 years, PhD), University of British Columbia (2 years postdoctoral studies), University of Washington (2 years, postdoctoral studies)…continuing to this moment at Foothill Community College (Music, English).

Military Service: I was granted Conscientious Objector status 1969 and proud of it.

Hobbies/Pastimes: Musical composition, songwriting, musical arrangement and production using Pro Tools, classical, rock and jazz guitar and electric bass, marathon / ultramarathon running, artificial intelligence in musical composition, computer programming.

One thing that no one knows about me is: I became fluent in Spanish in a year, simply by listening as I lived in Mexico – thanks to Mr. Goldberg’s excellent preparation in Latin.

Now the hard one. Tell us what we need to know…50 years in the space below:

I am sorry I am not with you to celebrate our 50th reunion, but I did want to say hello and wish you all the best. From far away in California , I send you my warmest wishes.

Although I cannot attend this reunion, it set me thinking about what I would say if someone asked me, what have you done in the past 50 years? After much thinking, it made me happy. For I have been very sad for the past four years, ever since my company shut down and ended my career, and as I saw it, took away my identity. But thinking back over the past fifty years I realize that I have been very blessed. The education I received in the Hicksville public school system prepared me for a lifetime of learning which continues to this day, and for which I am very grateful.

I continued in school, after leaving Hicksville High School , for another 12 years, spurred on by a thirst for knowledge that many of my teachers inspired. My love of science, math, English, Latin, and music were most influential in my life. I went on to a PhD in chemistry and after 4 years of postdoctoral training and a year as a visiting professor in Mexico , I joined Syntex, a pharmaceutical company, and stayed there for the next 33 years, surviving a buyout by Roche Pharmaceuticals. I was well paid to do what I had always wanted to do since the age of 10 years old – to do chemistry in my own lab.

I never became a director, a VP or a CEO, but I did what gave me satisfaction – and we got two drugs to the market. How cool is that! I derived much satisfaction in working with other scientists as a mentor, helping them to be successful, and for that opportunity, I am very grateful.

Because I was well paid, I was able to raise a family in the San Francisco Bay area, buy a house and put two beautiful daughters through college and walk away without debt. What more could I ask for? I am very grateful.

Meanwhile I have derived enormous satisfaction as an amateur composer, arranger, singer and songwriter without having to worry about income. I currently take courses in music at a local community college for my own satisfaction. In addition (so that my brain does not turn to jelly) I act as a consultant in the School of Medicine at Stanford University where we have just filed a patent for a new antibiotic and submitted a publication to a peer-reviewed journal.

Life has been good to me in the past 50 years in spite of a few bumps in the road which I don’t need to think about, given all the good things that have come my way. The education I received at Hicksville High School , both in science and in music, gave me the foundation I needed to achieve many things I never dreamed of in 1964 when I last saw you all. Best wishes to you all for many years to come.

Finally, if you had to do it all over again, I would…not have stopped playing trumpet.

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