• Michael
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Oberlin, Cornell, University of Hawaii
university faculty developer (retired Feb 2012)
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Hey, I’m Michael!

Shelburne, Vermont, United States · Member since November 2011
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Born in Virginia, raised before MLK by "The Help" in Baltimore, MD. Retired 2/12 from work in Hawaii as college faculty, helping other teachers to improve teaching practice. Traveling often often to Pacific NW (I am a subscriber to Pacific NW Ballet in Seattle) and in fall, road-tripping Steinbeck-style (without the poodle) across the US to Vermont. As of August 2012, reside permanently in Shelburne, VT. I have friends all over the world, and most of my spending is on travel to visit them.

Widowed, neat, non-smoker and non-drinker. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. Sometimes cook for others. Huge fan of good food (especially vegetarian) natural surroundings, good books, performance art (especially ballet, opera, musicals), art in many forms, music. I celebrate being self-sufficient in local transportation, and being a considerate budget traveler.

Domestically well-traveled, know the Pacific NW, west coast major cities, northeast from DC to Maine.

JULY 9 2012: I've had uniformly good experiences with airbnb hosts, except one. That one (in San Diego in June 2013), to the host's credit, was a perfect situation: I was able to do light cooking for guests and in all other respects it was a pleasant week. I wrote a long, positive review. The day following that the host wrote me, in essence "you trashed the place," and asked for money outside airbnb, threatening a bad review. Concerned, I wrote back, asking for details. For a week I heard nothing, which greatly alarmed me. I then amended my with the current developments. There ensued an exchange in which the host again threatened a negative review of me unless I revised or deleted my review. I paid the money he had requested; it seemed best to accept his word about having to hire a cleaner; and there was no way to verify his claims of "trashing," although I do not believe I did so. As of 7/9 airbnb has helped me to delete my mistaken comments about him, and he has been notified about that deletion; but his negative review of me remains. I did have guests, and the host met virtually all of them. I saw the host every day of my stay, and he never asked not to bring friends or made any comment about them; we caused no disturbance that I'm aware of. He did ask me once to use the vent fan and open the windows when I was cooking, a sensible suggestion with which I complied immediately. I'm deliberately not naming that, but if his long review is still posted, you will have no difficulty finding it. My lessons for guests from this experience: (1) make sure the host's wishes about guests are known to you and that you respect them; (2) make sure you know exactly what is expected of you in cleaning at the end of a stay; (3) at the end of your stay, when practical, allow sufficient time for the host to examine the premises in a walk-through and correct any problems then discovered; (4) conduct all business through airbnb mail, not outside. My suggestions for hosts: Make your concerns known when they happen.