• From the beginning

    by  • 2/7/2001 • life • 2 Comments

    Okay, so this is what a diary service looks like.

    The fact that I haven’t done anything like this in ages is an issue, and I’m staring blankly at the edit box; cursor blinking impatiently. Where to begin?

    It’s not as if I don’t know how I got to this point, it’s just that you, anonymous voyeur, don’t necessarily know how I got here. My story isn’t one of tremendous adversity, overcoming millions of obstacles on the way. It’s more of a story of a middle class kid’s rise to mediocrity, having burned off those fifteen minutes of fame years ago, now settled into a nice boring day-to-day life.

    Don’t get me wrong. I use boring in all the good sense of the word. No big surprises like not being able to pay rent, no sudden evictions, no paying off one credit card with a cash advance from another. Boring == Good in some ways, and this is one of those ways.

    I’m a computer geek who came by way of his skills mostly as a side-effect of being A) cheap and B) lucky. Having had a computer as a kid in junior high school helped with the willingness to explore logic and critical thinking, I suppose. I didn’t really get turned on by the technology until I was in college, trying to pay my way through an amazingly expensive program.

    Enrolled in a Visual Arts diploma program, focusing on the practicals of painting, ceramics, and drawing, and faced with amazingly large bills for supplies that student loans wouldn’t really begin to make a dent in, I needed a job. The computer labs were hiring. Somehow I managed to make my way through that interview and picked up enough hours to keep myself in paints and canvas.

    Thus began my career, walking between two radically different worlds. At the time, and in this place, it was unusual for computer people to understand artistic people, and vice versa. It would cause no end of amazement to some people to see me, coated in paint or clay, assisting CompSci majors in figuring out how to print. I was often amazed myself, that anyone who had gone through 4 years of computer science couldn’t logically determine how to do simple actions that a simple artist could.

    From the other end of things, the artists were happy, after a period of adjustment, to know someone who could walk on “The Other Side.” Especially handy when you’re a slow typer… segue into another sideline business; typing up scared artists’ resumes.

    Built my first actual computer from spare parts I acquired from friends, and from college cast-offs.

    Entered what I thought would be a good program at SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) in Calgary. Wrong. Failed out of Electronics once more in my life.

    Evil roommate abandoned me, and I was stuck in Calgary with little money and no school.

    Struggled there for a while teaching people to use computers. Generally instructing them on software that I’d never used before myself. Nothing quite like having to think on your feet. It’s great – I’d recommend everyone do this on occasion.

    Finally gave up on the struggle in Calgary – I was surrounded by other people who weren’t doing so well, and things were getting more and more dysfunctional in my life as well as in others.

    Back to Red Deer, back to the parents’ place, and back to school. I figured that if those idiots I’d helped in the computer labs could do CompSci, I could try it too. Enrolled in Computer Systems Tech. A 2 year diploma that could be rolled over into a 3 or 4 year BSc in CompSci.

    I forgot to include in that equation the fact that the people I dealt with were complete idiots. Guess what? There must be some kind of farm where they grow idiots close to that college. The program was loaded with them. Whiners that would complain that they didn’t know they had to do this or that because they weren’t told; even though basic logic often dictated those steps as non-optional. People who complained that basic concepts such as word processors were too difficult. People who hand-wrote term papers. HAND WROTE. They’re in technology classes in the 1990s and they’re hand-writing papers. Unreal.

    This place bored me. I stopped attending a number of the classes halfway through the second half of first year, continuing to write the exams and assignments, and still maintaining an A average. Time to start looking for a job though, as this was going to kill me.

    More on that later I think – this is already way too much for now.

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    2 Responses to From the beginning

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