If I didn’t like him so much, I might smack Chris Brogan for tagging me with his latest meme. I have a hard time believing that anything you don’t already know about is that interesting, but here’s my contribution to the pile.
1. Growing up, I planned to become an architect. Any chance I got, I’d sketch little house plans then I’d build those house plans out of Legos. I loved looking at blueprints and cobbling together different parts of houses into one of my own. In high school, I put together two sets of plans for people looking to add on to their homes. Only one was built, and I still enjoy riding my bike past that home and seeing the addition. However, reality intruded in college when it became clear that calculus and physics were never going to be my forte, making an official degree in architecture impossible. To this day, I still enjoy drawing house plans.
2. In college, I had a job for three weeks at a survey call center. It was horrid. We were paid a skimpy hourly rate and then we had to hit a certain number of completed surveys to get anything more. Besides the fact that I hated interrupting people at home, if I was even one question short of the completing the survey it didn’t count. Sometimes, we’d have a particularly long survey, say 30-40 questions. Without fail, I’d get at least one person who get through all but one or two and hang up on me. After deciding that bashing my head against the wall wasn’t an option, I quit a job for the first time in my life and only felt guilty about it for a day.
3. My junior year of college I was the Arts & Entertainment Editor for my school newspaper. Here’s the funny thing: I loved working on the newspaper, assigning stories and editing copy, but I absolutely loathed doing interviews. So I would scoop up as many CD and movie reviews as possible and send my reporters out to do the one-on-one stuff. That job was also interesting because it marked a year where the editor elected to insert a paid advertisement that denounced the Holocaust. She did so to illustrate a free speech objective, which she explained in an accompanying editorial, making it clear she gave it no personal credence. No one was surprised when she started receiving threats, and we were encouraged to leave the newspaper office in pairs. Luckily nothing happened, but it was a reminder that words come with responsibility.
4. I’ve gotten into the habit of building my own computers. My most recent one replaces my aging tower that started flashing the blue screen of death after five years. In theory, I fixed it, but decided it was time to move on. There’s something so satisfying about knowing how to put a computer together. My first time, I didn’t match my processor and my motherboard, which for some reason took me forever to figure out. Then the case’s power button had a short, blocking it from powering up as normal. All told, it took me close to six weeks to get the stupid thing working. My latest build only took me two days. Yes, I smiled when I typed that.
5. I own over 1,600 books, and I keep track of my collection with a barcode scanner and a database. Why? I got tired of buying duplicates. I love books. A friend recently asked if I’d buy an Amazon Kindle, and while I might for convenience at some point, I’ll never give up my physicial books. There’s something so right about holding a book in one’s hands. Some of the earliest pictures of me, even before I could read are of me holding a book and pretending to read. Few things give me greater pleasure than reading, and I feel safe saying I like books from almost every genre (I still struggle with poetry).
Memes like this one make me wonder if we ever really know another person. Or whether the information that’s shared makes a difference about how we perceive another person. Part of me hopes that no one finds out everything about me, while the other part hopes one person knows everything. How’s that for contradiction?