So, one idea I've had but never implemented was to put somewhere around here a brief synopsis of my history, at least enough so that old school mates could find me. Someone just e-mailed me, so suddenly it seems like a better idea. (Plus my high school class is planning the 10th year reunion. For $125. Yeah, right!) Of course, my web page is a total mess (see below), so for now I'll just say something here: I went to North Park day care or whatever it was called, by Von Steuben High School in Chicago, then Bell Elementary (I still remember the anthem, ack) from probably 1981 to 1986, then Whitney Young Magnet. Skipping my junior year to graduate in 1992. And I took AP Pascal at Loyola in 1990, TAing it summer of 1991, when I wasn't in the Soviet Union (mostly in Tartu, Estonia) for some weird NSF math student thing. (A few weeks before the coup and tanks and Yeltsin and the whole thing collapsed.) I was the guy who braved the purple vomit-resembling substance in the hotel and discovered it was chocolate mousse.
Amusing trivia: the mascot of both Bell and Caltech is the Beaver.
For Whitney Youngites: I didn't go to my college graduation either. Not that I was valedictorian there. Same reasoning I gave in high school: five years of being a captive audience for Bell's 8th grade graduation rehearsals was enough "Pomp and Circumstance" for a lifetime. (In sixth grade I was "sick" that day.) I haven't gone to any of my friends' graduations either. They know why. Some of them even envy my not having to go to high school graduations.
I've wondered, sometimes, what the overall impact of my life has been, especially beyond the sphere of friends and family. One thing which is still around is an animation I made in the summer of 1994 of the Northridge Earthquake, funded by a SCEC internship. My friend John says he's been having to answer questions about it recently; the thing's still up and being looked at.
For that matter, John's being at SCEC has a direct cause in me: I'd worked with Egill Hauksson in 1993, then recommended John to Egill in 1994, and after graduation John eventually circled back to SCEC for a job.
I think my other big impact has been the various science fiction web pages, which people look at. I haven't gotten published or introduced people who've gone on to get married or such.