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I find it interesting how significantly one's outlook on particular subjects can change over time. Some personal examples:

The summer between seventh and eighth grades we went on trip to (among other places) Colonial Williamsburg. I was, to say the least, pretty bored. I don't remember what my 13-year old idea of fun was, but it wasn't walking around a bunch of historic buildings. As it happened, though, eighth grade history was early US history, and thus a mere few months later I was mildly kicking myself for not paying more attention to everything.

For a history class in college we were required to write a report based on primary sources. I.e., original newspaper articles. My report was about the coming of the Beatles to America, and while I duly gathered up some articles from (if memory serves) the New York Times and the Washington Post, I was never terribly interested in the exercise, and probably didn't end up doing that great of a job on it. These days, however, I'm fascinated by primary sources, be they complete (as it was happening) videos of Kennedy assassination coverage or transcripts of events that have been selectively quoted by major media outlets. Context can be fascinating. We've all seen Walter Cronkite's announcement of Kennedy's death many times over, but the coverage that surrounds it (including the chaos that defines it) is much more interesting.

On a semi-related note, a question to my fellow Computer Science grads (UW or otherwise, BS or MS (or PhD!)): do you feel got all that you should have from your education? Do you feel you use it on a regular basis? It seems like I generally felt pretty comfortable doing project work (and feel pretty comfortable with projects at work today), but that there was a disconnect between that and the theory we were supposed to be learning in lecture. Even in classes I got great grades in I look back and think "did I really get out of that class what I was supposed to?"

Part of me is quite glad I'm done with school, but another part is slightly interested in what it would be like again.

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The Simpsons Archive

Vital stats:
DOB 2/16/79. I'm a web developer at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. I like lots of old music, including The Who. I spend a lot of time working with computers. And my favorite TV show (when I actually decide to watch TV, that is), obviously, is The Simpsons.

In May 2002 I officially graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in computer science. In 1997 (man that seems like a long time ago) I graduated from Washington Park HS. Yes, I know, that site isn't very impressive, and no, I haven't touched it for several years.

WFS Logo

One of the best experiences I have ever had was on a trip called Western Field Studies. This is a 33 day adventure throughout the western United States. Students travel on a school bus to national parks, monuments, forests, and places of historical interest and camp out (in tents or under the stars). I was a part of trip 25, which took place in the summer of 1996. A first for WFS was we took along a laptop computer and kept up a web site. That link will take you to the 1996 site, where there is a link to the current site.