Seven things you don’t need to know about me

What a neat way to use social media! I was tagged by Richard Nantel of Brandon Hall Research to write seven random things about myself. I was humbled when Richard blogged about the video tutorials I make. That was a very nice mention and makes it worthwhile when it’s 2:30 and 3 in the morning (which is actually often, but I love it), but when I realized that Richard is the CEO of Brandon Hall, my avatar fell out of his chair! =D

1. The proud dad of an opera singing daughter (performing for 10 years) who has returned to school to pursue a doctorate in aeronautical space engineering. She is adding the second syllable to what I am, to become a rocket scientist.

2. I am a rock scientist, with a master’s in science ed specialized in Geology. Hook ’em Horns! I attended the University of Texas. During my college days, I restored a 1960 MGA and loved to surf (still have my board, like I’ll be surfing anytime soon!).  I was also a volunteer firefighter and paramedic while in school.

3. I was on the National Canadian Fencing Team. My plans were foiled (pun intended, I did foil) when the Canadians decided to stand with the Americans and boycott the summer games in Moscow. I’m still mad that the US did the winter Olympics so they could play hockey against the USSR. But just as well, had I gone, I would have taken a University of Ottawa scholarship and become a professional fencer. And if you think fencing is a bore to watch (I do), then imagine the fine living that can be made as an instructor!

4. I was a high school science teacher and coach who was all about seeing the science in action (such as blowing up sodium in water and sending bits into my beard and knocking ceiling light covers off). I truly believe that helping people learn better is the best thing ever and if that means letting a student sit on the floor or creating a scenario in Second Life with a talking beaver, then so be it!

5. Teaching continued after marrying the private high school counselor. She is from Miami (she had been the Director of University of Miami’s Executive MBA program) and we moved to Miami because of the Florida Keys. I am a NAUI DiveMaster so the Keys were really attractive (you can actually see underwater, unlike the west side of the Mississippi in the Gulf). I taught as an adjunct professor for seven years at Miami Dade College while being a geochronologist by day.

6. A geochronologist is a fancy way of saying radiocarbon dating scientist. Just happens that the largest commercial radiocarbon dating lab in the world is in Miami. Pretty interesting stuff and virtually anything you see on TV that is up to 50,000 years old comes through that lab. I have seen all kinds of anthropological and geological samples, but nothing gets your attention like unwrapping an entire mummy’s foot complete with very long toe nails!

7. While at the lab, I was introduced to Flash in 1999 with EYE4U (still the same content today). The guy that showed it to me said I could make 6 figures with it (still working on that, I am persistent I suppose). It seemed like a great creative outlet. I love to create and have welded a trailer for a John Deere I had for summer work while I was a private school teacher (with a claim to fame of mowing acreage around South Fork Ranch which was used in the opening shot of the TV show Dallas), and a 450 pound smoker I made for my wife as a Christmas gift (it’s a Texas thing). I also am into photography and used to roll my own bulk film and had a darkroom (I sure like digital photography more). Anyway, I continued to work in Flash and saw it as a natural way to reach out to educate people. We moved to beantown where my opera singing daughter came for her masters in music and stayed. I did elearning for fertilty education and teen body image issues, then worked for Bose, and now am a multimedia developer at a hospitality software company. Two of our clients were in Second Life while I was dabbling in Blender 3D and I saw Second Life as a 3D tool rather than an immersive environment. I have been fortunate to be able to speak at conferences on my passion for Second Life as a video tool and even met with business people in person at Linden Lab.

Well Richard, this was a great exercise and I may have included more than 7 facts (is that a value add?). I did not get to mention that I am probably the only French Canadian that loves the Queen (she visits us, we go nuts, and she leaves without taking any taxes – what’s not to love?). Or that I used to mountain bike race and wrote (and won) a national grant for trail work (never won a race though).

So now for me to pass this on to seven others and I am going to be bold. =D

I hereby tag and request 7 random facts from:

1. Mark Kingdon

2. Brent Schlenker

3. Natalie

4. Torley Linden

5. David Anderson

6. Adam Nelson

7. Ener Hax