Alumni Spotlight: Greg Weintraub
Global Studies, Class of 2015
Boston Children’s Hospital
Describe yourself in three words.
Runner, Adventurer, Curious
What was your favorite course at The New School and why?
My favorite course at The New School was [Dis]Order and [In]justice, with the Global Studies Program. The class thinks about “order as a dynamic relationship between territory, identity and belonging, and justice as a question of responsibility and ethics at the collective and personal level in an intimate relationship to forms of order.”
I have Type 1 Diabetes, and have lived with Type 1 for most of my life. I’ve always been in good health, but as I’ve lived with Type 1 for a longer and longer period of time, I’ve developed a more intricate relationship with the disease. This class, with professor Jonathan Bach, helped me to explore this relationship I have with my diabetes. More specifically, this class gave me a framework to think about diabetes in different parts of my life – and how, for example, my sense of identity relative to Type 1 Diabetes shifts as I transition between being a long distance runner, a friend of folks with Type 1 Diabetes, and a patient living with Type 1.
What was the most beneficial thing you did during school that prepared you for your current career?
I developed different perspectives. I ran my 1st marathon during my sophomore year of school. I’ve continued to run long distances, having completed 5 marathons since I first signed up for that first adventure. There are very few long distance runners with Type 1 Diabetes. That said, developing experience as a runner with Type 1 Diabetes gave me perspective on my life, and career, that few others have. The same can be said about being in classes. Many of my classes at The New School were small – ten to fifteen people at most. This forced everyone in each class to talk, exchange perspectives, and develop a broader understanding of whatever we were talking about. Being in these situations – small classes, marathons with Type 1 Diabetes – has provided me with a greater ability to develop perspectives and understanding. Through that, I’m able to build relationships wherever I work, which has been significantly helpful relative to my career. You have to be able to work with people, and understand their perspectives and ideas, to do good work. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have developed so many perspectives, while in school, in a way that bled over into my career.
Where did you grow up? How did that affect the experience of attending college in NYC?
I grew up about a half hour outside of Boston, Massachusetts. I always knew that I wanted to attend school in New York City. Visiting the city growing up, there was just something about Manhattan that was exciting. Beyond words, even. Boston is a great city (I work there, now, at Boston Children’s Hospital!). But my motivation to attend school in New York City was born out of growing up outside of New York City. I loved every second, and often miss the peculiarities of living in New York City.
What was the best part about going to school in NYC?
The ability to disappear into a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant, and have an incredible meal. There were two places I made sure to visit often – one on St. Marks and one on 1st Avenue – that fit the bill. They were affordable places, and the people who worked at both restaurants were all great. I always knew that if I wanted to relax for a while, and just disappear into the hustle and bustle of New York City, I could go to either of those places.
If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
African Penguin. Penguins can’t fly, despite being birds. Also, African Penguins live primarily on the coast of South Africa. So – African Penguins have unusual barriers that they overcome (birds without winds) and different perspectives (Penguins hanging out in South Africa, instead of cold wilderness). I feel like that would be an interesting life.
What’s one piece of advice you wish you would’ve gotten while you were in school?
It’s okay to relax. I was always (at least a little) wound up, and stressed out. It’s important to work hard, and it’s important to do good work. But that doesn’t have to mean being stressed out and wound up all the time. Also, be good to the guys who work at Subway. The free cookies are invaluable.