1993 Bachelor of Science, Stephen F. Austin State University: I though I wanted to be a doctor, so I majored in Biology with English as a second major for balance. But, alas, I grew introspective and cynical by the end of my college career. An English teacher was born.
15 hours - MA in English: I'll finish the Masters as soon as I find an English department that's not overrun by language deconstructionist drones. For gods' sake, how many times can the word "hegemony" be used in one class? Here's a graduate project site I created.
2006-Present English Teacher, Lufkin High School, Lufkin, Texas: Oh, lord, did I really move back to East Texas? The appeal of being close to family and away from the ugliness of the city was too tempting, so we packed up and moved back the Piney Woods. Say what you want, but being in the country, especially with youngsters, is far less stressful and more, well, hopeful. My wife and I are both teaching on the same campus, and, after leaving one of the youngest teachers in the department, I return to a passel of nooby teachers who actually think I know what I'm doing. Life is good.
2003-2006 English Teacher, Juan Seguin High School, Arlington, Texas: I decided to light a candle rather than curse the darkness and return to public school teaching. I took about a 22% pay cut, but I have summer's off now (nah, nah). I think I'm much happier working with young people rather than computers, although I still haven't decided which is more frustrating. I'm a language-oriented teacher, which means I spend a lot of time telling kids not to use "a lot" in their writing.
2002-2003 Design Engineer, Siemens Dematic, DFW Airport: I programmed baggage-handling installation simulations using PICS (Programmable Industrial Control Simulation) and ladder logic. Basically, I built virtual conveyor systems against which controls programmers would test their programs. The simulations would interact with PLCs--industrial computers--and allow buttons, motors, diverters, and other equipment to be manipulated and problems resolved without waiting for the installation to be completed.
2000-2002 Computer Support, Siemens Dematic, DFW Airport: Supported about 150+ users in a Novell/Windows environment, mostly CAD and laptop users. I don't have any certifications, but I can do just about anything with computers short of programming (I hate coding).
1993-2000 English Teacher, Lufkin High School, Lufkin, Texas: Young, idealistic, and newly-graduated, I took a teaching position because I really didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. Seven years later, I knew that I had found my purpose in life in teaching, but I got pulled away to private industry in order to make more money when my wife went back to school. Still, nothing makes me feel better than seeing the lights go on when an idea takes hold. I miss it.
1986-1992 Medic, Army National Guard: I needed a way to pay for school, and the Army was offering, so I signed up for six years the week after I graduated high school. I did my Basic Training at Fort Knox and AIT at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Good memories, but I'm glad it's over. pic
President, Lufkin Federation of Teachers: I'm a big believer in the positive power of unions, and I believe Texas teachers are in desperate need of organization. I worked to build the presence of the American Federation of Teachers and the Texas Federation of Teachers in Lufkin, Texas. The results were mostly positive, including growing from about a dozen members to over 125 in two years.
Uber Geek: Computers are an end, not a means, for me. I've dabbled in just about every aspect of them, from Linux and overclocking to BBS's and corporate networking. Every room in my house is completely networked for LAN parties; I scavenge through the Goodwill used computer store *just for fun*; I have actually fallen asleep at the keyboard; and I can translate l33t 5p34K, d00d5. Man, that's dedicated.
Visual Literacy Curriculum: I'm particularly proud of the Visual Literacy class I developed from scratch to fulfill the "Analysis of the Visual Media" elective in the Texas state curriculum. I used everything from the Star Wars trilogy (the original, not the disappointing Episodes I and II) to Citizen Kane to teach kids about symbolism, mise en scene, color, and other visual elements of movies. They really latch on to the metaphorical and abstract aspects of movies that carry over to literature and popular media.