Spotlight on Michael Green

(Written by Megan Wiebelhaus)

Michael Green looks like a tall, comfortable professor. Maybe a minister—he has so much to say about religion and philosophy. He has a contemplative, idea-sorting mind that enjoys getting to the bottom of big ideas.

“What I do is less interesting than what is going on in my mind.”

This thoughtful man volunteers as a computer mentor at WCSC, teaching Computer Basic and Computer Basic Plus classes of all sizes.

Michael Green

WCSC computer teacher Michael Green has a long history with the machines. He first began teaching computer courses in the early 1980s.

As a computer mentor, Michael helps with member projects, including memoirs: Eleanor DeVito Owen won a local writer’s award for her memoir of her large Italian family (she had 12 siblings) coming to New York in 1921. Michael helped her with Microsoft Word formatting and says she’s had “a very interesting and tough life and a wonderful attitude.”

Michael and his wife, Carol, have managed a modern miracle: a marriage between Macs and PCs. Carol is the Apple mentor at WCSC, proving that bitter brand animosity can’t keep love apart. Even their relationship had a tech-savvy beginning: they met on and were married two-and-a-half years ago.

Though he doesn’t have formal training, Michael was an early computer user. In the early 1980s, he worked on school computers at Bethune-Cookman University (then College) in Daytona Beach, Florida, where he taught for a cumulative 14 years.

Michael’s path across the country (and world) is dizzying. Born in Montana, he moved briefly to Seattle (his father was born in Ballard and was a grocer in the store which now houses Java Bean Coffee). He moved to Florida, where he taught in high schools and at Bethune-Cookman University. He met his first wife, Mary O’Brian (also a teacher), and the two taught together in the Philippines with the Peace Corps. Both earned their PhDs at Florida State University. They later followed their two sons to Washington, DC. After Mary’s tragic death from cancer in 2011, Michael moved to Yakima to be with his sister. Now he’s a permanent Seattle transplant, living with Carol and occasionally travelling to Mexico.

When he’s not teaching computer skills, Michael participates in WCSC’s men’s discussion groups, sometimes trying to steer the group toward metaphysics, he says. It’s just a part of what makes the WCSC important.

“The whole community that participates in [WCSC]—playing cards, friendship, social connections—totally worthwhile.”