I was tagged on January 5th by Greg Hughes to do a "5 things you didn't know about me" post.
It's taken me so long to respond, because I've been busy doing other things (360 gamerpoints for instance) and also because I just wasn't real sure about what I wanted to say.
Anyhow, without further ado, here are 5 things you probably don't know about me:
1. I have flat feet. Really flat feet. For most of my life, I just sort of grinned and bore the pain, although it certainly affected how I did things. For instance in middle and high school I was much more into riding my bike everywhere vs walking any length of distance. I even used to ride my bike with my parents while they hiked.
Nowadays I have orthotic inserts in my shoes that help me out quite a bit. Walking is no longer an event filled with pain, although standing for more than an hour does make my feet hurt.
2. In one semester of middle school I was on the track team for 1 mile runs. I was pretty slow (this kind of ties in with item number 1) and only barely broke the 8 minute mile (by comparison there were kids that were doing 5:30 miles) but I stuck with it and didn't give up.
At one point the track coach used me as an example because I didn't give up. Didn't matter that I always finished last. I always finished.
Have no idea really why I did it, other than they needed people for the track team and I had nothing much else going on at the time anyhow.
I'm glad I did though as it helped shape a part of me that is still important to this day...namely, I don't give up.
3. I'm a child of divorced parents. This is important to mention as the separation and eventual divorce of my parents when I was 13 has had profound effects on my life, both good and bad. I wouldn't be who I am or where I am today if this event hadn't taken place.
Psychologists have found that divorce can have deep and lasting effects on children into and perhaps beyond their 30s and I am certainly no exception to these findings.
I won't say that I'm better or worse for it happening, but I certainly am different. And while it was a painful part of my life, I have mostly made peace with it and the difficult choice my parents had to make.
And giving up my stepmom, whom I love a lot, in return for not going through my parents divorce is not a choice I'd willingly make at this point.
4. I didn't do too well in school. You could be blunt about it and say that I flunked out of college. To this day, I'm not a very disciplined learner. I learn what I need to know for my job and I learn about what interests me, but everything outside of that tends to escape my grasp.
That's not to say that I'm ignorant, or uneducated, I'm just largely self-educated. As I grow older I get interested in more things, but the idea of going back to college just doesn't interest me. I certainly have a certain level of regret at not going farther with college, but it just wasn't who I was at the time. And to be quite frank about it, I'm pretty happy with where I am in life and where I'm headed.
I also certainly continue to learn quite a bit, although mostly from sources on the web as well as from other professionals/individuals around me. Plus I have NPR to keep my up to date politically.
Anyhow, for all those who are going through school right now, don't overdo yourself on one class that you really like to the detriment of all others. I got into trouble in my second semester of college by spending so much time in the computer lab for my AutoCAD class that I failed others like Chemistry.
Oh and did I mention that I never formally graduated from high school? Yeah, I took the California High School Proficiency Exam instead. Easiest test I've ever taken. Probably could have passed it in 9th grade. Not quite sure what that says about the diploma equivalent exams.
5. I was in the Air Force for 7.5 years. True story, after I bailed out of college, I lived with my dad and stepmom for a bit. I was playing the part of the typical slacker kid. Didn't want to get a job, didn't want to help much around the house, etc. Didn't really have high hopes for my future.
My brother Ben was in the Army at the time and it hit me that joining the military might be a good idea. As I told my parents, a way to get out of the house so they couldn't tell me what to do. Ahh, that's irony for you.
So I joined as a communications-computer operator, which was at the time basically a glorified message clerk (the career field has basically become IT administration in general) and was stationed at Onizuka Air Force Base. I know it sounds exotic, but in reality it's the local Air Force installation at Sunnyvale, CA. So I joined the military, which usually means going off and seeing the world (not why I joined incidentally), only to get lucky and get stationed at my home town.
I was there for about 5.5 years before getting shipped off to Korea for a year, after which I got out and worked at Onizuka again as a government contractor.