Poet, Baseball Fan, Thinker, Security Expert, and Family Man, Miguel (Miggy) Andres Rodriguez Jr. came from the quintessential Bloomingdale family. When he started at Bloomingdale in September, 1995, both his mother, Gina Marquez, and his father, Miguel Rodriguez, were teaching at the Columbus Avenue site. His teachers, José Velilla, now Executive Director of Bloomingdale and Joyce Dye, a long time Bloomingdale teacher who has now moved to the NYC public schools, remember his energy and happy spirit well. Miggy went to West Side Schools – PS 84, Mott Hall II, and Frederick Douglass Academy and after high school headed to SUNY Buffalo. He thought he was going to major in forensic chemistry but it turned out there were only two courses he could take in that area. He ended up in criminal justice with a minor in psychology. Miggy’s love of language developed from his father’s love of music. He instilled in Miggy an appreciation for lyricism in music, encouraging him to understand why you feel the way you do when you listen.
Going to college was Miggy’s first time away from New York City, his parents, and his younger sister Ginel (also a Bloomingdale alumni), and his first year was challenging. He lost a number of significant people in his life, including his best friend from Bloomingdale. He turned to writing poetry and also found strength in his relationships with his cousin, who lived near Buffalo, and Selina Runge, now his wife. He cites three books as strong influences on his thinking:
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
- The Art of Loving by Eric Fromm
- What We Talk About When We Talk about Love by Raymond Carver
All of these, in different ways, address the role of love in our lives and finding work that is significant. Miggy published his first book of poetry, The Worlds of Us, under his pen name, Miguel Andres. He has been working in security at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital while also earning his Master’s degree in security management from John Jay College. He says the secret of balancing work and his commitments to Selina, and now his two daughters, Jaylene and Maya, is “no sleep”. Jaylene, now 5, attended Bloomingdale for two years, and Maya was born last winter before he finished his degree. Miggy and his family recently moved back to Buffalo, where he is working at Daemen College as Campus Safety Supervisor. We will miss them and hope to see them at future Bloomingdale Reunions.