I flipped through my old Greek textbook the other night and remembered the pain and anguish that came with learning participles for the first time.
It’s hard to believe that was almost 15 years ago.
I’m so proud of this guy that words are inadequate.
He’s in the white shirt in the front row, towards the right.
We spent our morning at Cahokia Mounds, including climbing Monk’s Mound. The second set of stairs:
I recently had to go back and come up with a few dates for a project I’m working on, and part of that was determining a few of the “firsts” in my life. I figured I’d share. (I also added a few things that are trivial just for fun.) They are in roughly chronological order. They trend towards the geeky.
- My first home: The first house I lived in was at 13217 Mercier St. in Southgate, Michigan. It’s changed quite a bit since we moved out of it many years ago, but you can take a look at it on Google Maps here.
- My first computer: The first “computer” in our house was a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A. I learned to program simple things in BASIC on it; we even had the speech synthesizer module (incidentally, the TI-99 was also my first video game console). The first “modern” PC in our house was a Laser 128, which was an Apple II clone.
- My first movie seen in a theater: Follow That Bird.
- My first job: My first place of employment was Six Stars Family Restaurant, also in Southgate, Michigan. I eagerly took a job at 14 (the youngest age at which you could work in Michigan) as a busboy and dishwasher. If I was lucky, I even got to step up and do some cooking once in a while.
- My first car: My first car was a 1996 Chevrolet S-10 pickup. It had power nothing and was as simple as could be, but it got me from point A to point B and the ability to haul things was very useful. It died after surviving a tree falling on it and not surviving softball-sized hailstones.
- My first Web site: When I was in high school (1996? 1997?), I first became fascinated by the Web, and my family first had an Internet connection. Wanting to learn more, I picked up a book on HTML 3 (I think) and learned from examples using TeachText on my Mac LCII. The first page I publicly released to the world was either in our AOL-hosted Web page space or on Geocities; I can’t remember which is correct. I vaguely remember the page having something to do with either Macross Plus or Star Trek, and I’m about 99% certain it committed a number of gross copyright violations and was ugly as sin.
- My first blog: The first Web site I had resembling anything like a blog was created while I was in college; in 1999 or 2000 I first had a hand-coded site that I managed without the help of a database or any of those niceties, and later I actually worked out a front-end to a Snitz Forums 2000 installation that took posts to specific categories on the forum and translated them into blog posts. The oldest post that has survived to date is from April 13, 2001 and was the first post I made to LiveJournal.
- My first degree: B.A. in Theological Languages from Concordia University—River Forest.
- My first child: Joshua was born March 18, 2003.
- My first WordPress post: I moved to WordPress as part of the mass exodus from Movable Type in early 2004. The first WordPress post I have from that move is dated February 18, 2004. This means I would have been using version 1.0, though I distinctly remember playing around with 0.72 before that.
- My first house: I won’t give the address here, but Amanda and I bought our first house in October of 2006. I haven’t managed to bring it down yet.
That’s all I can think of at the moment, but I’ll throw a few more in here if I come across any other interesting ones.
(Photo credit: “A first street. STOP!” by flickr user cleber.)
I would of course be remiss if I failed to also mention my own mother today. From my mother, I inherited my ability to teach, the strength of my passion and dedication, and my musicality (among other things).
I’m sure I haven’t been the perfect son. I’m fairly certain my actions and passages through life have come close to driving her over the edge. I sometimes forget to call her and have even forgotten her birthday on a few occasions. Sometimes we fight with each other—but mostly because we’re very much alike.
But I always know my mother supports me. She worked hard to raise my brother and me even while she was teaching. (And I don’t blame her for skipping me past the fourth grade. She says it’s because I was too smart, but I’m pretty sure it’s really because she couldn’t handle having me as a student for a second year in a row.) I think she did a pretty darn good job of it.
And I always know that she is proud of me and everything I am able to accomplish as a son, a husband, a father, and a worker. Now that she has grandchildren, it’s fair enough that they get all the attention, but I know she speaks well of me and I hope I’ve been able to reflect well on her as a mother.
Happy Mother’s Day, mom.