OK, these turned out not to be facts as much as scattered autobiography.
1) I graduated high school when I was 16. And then college when I was 20. I therefore managed to be in grad school for about 2 weeks before I was able to legally drink.
2) Most everyone knows me as an academic and student. In reality, I've spent more of my adult life outside of academia. After the Master's degree in philosophy, I applied for three types of positions: a) teaching at prep schools like the one I attended; the only interview I ever got was from my old school and the theater department and they didn't hire me. b) teaching English in Japan. They actually offered me a position; however, I also had applied to c) this software company in Nashville, TN that the killer llama worked at, if people still remember him from the old blog. I decided I had been in school all my life and so I went and joined corporate world.
3) When applying for the job in corporate world, I heard a report from one of my interviewers that I seemed quite smart, but he was afraid I would get bored pretty quickly there. He pretty much nailed it. I stayed there 8 years, but I switched jobs every two years maximum, sometimes a bit less.
4) During the interviews, somehow I had reason to mention that I was writing a script and language for this novel I wanted to write. Kalabinabeso, I believe, was the name of the novel in the invented language and meant simply Journey to the East. It was my take-off on the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. The artificial language's script was based off of Sanskrit, which is a syllabic script. I finished defining the possible syllables of the language and invented about 100 words, but then it sat after that. I still dream of one day writing the novel with the Seauni language on the left side and the English translation on the right, in the manner of classic texts, such as Plato, in which Plato's Greek is on one side. Whenever I've sold 21 million copies of something people actually want, I will spring this puppy on my agent. Ha ha, take that! I had only taken one intro linguistics course years earlier at that point and had no idea I would ever take more.
5) So what did I do for eight years in between school (as it has turned out)? The company was in the call center industry, providing software to large companies with large numbers of people answering the phone. Think all the major airlines, banks, and more. For the first two years I sort of worked in a call center myself, answering support questions from people who managed call centers. I then moved into the development side of things, which for a year was a job with some sort of direction, where I worked with programmers to design new software. (I don't program anything myself.) But then the company merged with another and my job became entirely administrative, managing people's schedules in Microsoft Project. I mentally checked out on the company at this point and went from interested employee to someone collecting a paycheck. When I couldn't handle it anymore, I actually tended my resignation without having another job to move to. (B wasn't born yet, so one could be stupid with less consequence.) However, people in the support operation offered me a position back in there where I supported the people who supported the people who supported the customers. I still needed a break and took unpaid time for a week and went to bum around western North Carolina and Virginia Beach by myself. I remain convinced that Western NC, particularly the Nantahala Gorge, is one of the prettiest places on earth. I spent a lot of time standing next to streams, not catching any trout. This was enough peace to get me through another couple years before I started applying to grad school.
6) Apparently, I can still do customer support. A co-worker of N's called a few days ago to ask N for help on why her PC was crawling. I ended up on the phone with her. While I did nothing sophisticated, my support skills linger in my ability to tell the person on the phone what columns and tabs should be appearing and when, what to click on, step by step, without ever seeing the problem.
7) I've always assumed as a back-up plan that if I don't end up teaching I could get a job in some company that does language-related software.
8) Since I mention people like Plato and Aristotle on here and I already have a master's in philosophy, why didn't I continue on in a philosophy program years ago to get a doctorate? While I was capable of doing philosophy papers back then and probably could have gotten through a program between the ages of 22 and 26, I had nothing to say. At least I knew I had nothing to say. And knowing your own ignorance is true wisdom, or so Socrates said... :)
9) I might be too sensitive to be a teacher. I've been grading exams all day and it makes me sad when someone screws up a section really badly. All that work all semester and they lose it now. Profs are supposed to have this nice distribution of scores of A, B, C, D, etc. If everyone gets too high a grade, then people question your teaching. I'd rather be so good a teacher that everyone earns an A because they all know the material. I want everyone to earn an A. Fortunately, I've bewildered enough classmates and bored enough students when substituting that I am sure I will have no trouble inspiring apathy and ignorance.
10) My left nipple is about 50% bigger than my right one.
11) OK, not really. But I wanted to wake you all up.
12) In Sacramento, California, there's a restaurant called The Rusty Duck that serves seafood and is in this restored mill looking thing. I recommend it. Haven't been there in probably 8 years.
13) I almost moved to Canada with a new job once, before I was accepted into grad school. It would have been Toronto. Part of my "support" gig involved consulting trips and I really got along with one of our clients. I've never been to a place in Canada I didn't enjoy. This includes, Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. But I'm easily pleased. I like Cedar Rapids alright too.