(This was written in 2000… very soon I will update it, because a lot has changed since then.)
Born in 1978, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, I was ready to take the world by the horns. For the time being, however, I was hindered by an inability to walk and talk. My parents moved to Asheville, NC one year later, and I was strongly encouraged to tag along. We settled down in a farmhouse on a 600 acre farm. My childhood was probably different from that of many kids, since our nearest neighbor was over a mile away. No matter – the farm was full of things to do, and the Appalachian [pronounced Ap-uh-latch-ee-un, for you northerners ;-)] mountains will be my home, no matter how far or long I may go.
The piedmont of North Carolina, home to the Research Triangle and Duke University, is distinctly flat, hot, and full of pine trees. Ahh….I miss those mountain breezes, the inability to see for miles around from a tall building, and the sheer joy of the outdoors. Not to mention the fall – in Asheville, the fall colors last for weeks, covering entire valleys and slow moving animals in vibrant color. Here, in the triangle, fall lasts about a week and the pine trees, being stubbornly coniferous, refuse to change color.
The weather is a bit more exciting down here, however – the first week I was at Duke University in 1996 hurricane Fran tore through the southeast, destroying a lot of property and lives. And in the winter of 1999-2000, Raleigh was fortunate enough to receive a record 2 feet of snow in a few days. In the mountains, that’s not unheard of, although it’s pretty rare. Down here, it has officially snowed a lot if the shaded ground has a white dusting. Needless to say, the region was caught unprepared and even Duke grudgingly gave us a few days off from class. There wasn’t a snow shovel or sled within hundreds of miles, but we were not to be hindered. Experimentation proved a piece of cardboard contained within a plastic garbage bag yields a ride down a snow covered slope or street that rivals that of the most expensive sleds available. The ride, in fact, was a bit too fast.
Back home, we have a few Bernese Mountain Dogs. (I love animals, especially large dogs.) Originating in the Bernese Mountains of Switzerland, these dogs weigh around 100 lbs and were bred to pull carts through the mountains. Needless to say, they’re strong. They also absolutely love kids, so growing up with them was wonderful. As soon as I can do so, I will get a puppy to raise on my own. Given my current lifestyle and schedule, it just wouldn’t be fair to the animal at this point in time, so I’ll have to wait.
In May of 2000, I graduated from Duke University, surrounded by an absolutely incredible group of friends. These people are so remarkable…I’m very fortunate to have had the opportunities in life that I have, and count my blessings that I forged close friendships with such incredible people. Just for the record, I double majored in Biology and Spanish, with a minor in Chemistry. Where’s the Computer Science? I have no idea…but I do know that I love computers, technology, and the web (hence this and other sites that I’ve produced..)
For 3 months during the summer of 1998, I travelled extensively throughout Europe, and for most of that time I was in Spain (Sevilla, Madrid, and Barcelona). The trip began with the Duke in Spain program, which lasted for the first 4 weeks. Sometime, I hope to put together a web page about that trip, and the trip I took in August of 2000 to Spain.
I’m a HUGE fan of Calvin & Hobbes, as you can tell from my page dedicated to those two “philosophers.” Reading that page will probably give you a better (or at least different) perspective on the kind of person that I am. And strive to be. My essay on that delightful duo may be the most enlightening of all. (as of September 2000, I have not been able to finish that essay.)
What do I enjoy doing? Well, I’m glad you asked. Pull up a chair and sit a spell…
I enjoy being active, whether that means playing soccer, throwing a frisbee, playing basketball or golf, mountain biking, mountain biking down the road (I don’t have a road bike), working out, fiddling with web pages, hanging out with the people I care about, getting to know friends just *that* much better each time I see them, sitting outside on a perfect day, especially with company, and many, many other things.