Friday, December 5, 2014

25 things about me

  1. I have lived in eight cities and three states in my life. My dad had trouble finding permanent work in his field, so we moved a lot until finally settling in Prescott in 2001, where we've lived ever since. Two of those places are cities I've lived in since then (when going away to college), but my permanent home has been in Prescott since 2001.
  2. My paternal grandparents have lived in Garden Grove, California since years before I was born, and I have visited their home since my infancy. In some ways, it is more a home to me than many of the eight places I've lived in.
  3. I was really into science fiction as a kid. I still enjoy it, and have gotten much enjoyment out of reading Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.
  4. I have never been good at playing sports of any kind, but I have some fond memories of watching baseball as a boy. I think baseball is an interesting game, and I've often enjoyed the statistics and the history of the sport.
  5. My childhood dream was to become a fiction writer. I haven't given up on this dream, but I have set it on the shelf for a little while.
  6. In my teen years, I considered going into the computers field, but did not have great experiences in computers classes. My most lasting ambition during high school and college was to become a lawyer, but I don't think I could handle the stress of law school. I'd rather have a life outside of school.
  7. My favorite movie is Ben-Hur (a classic religious story), with Mr. Smith Goes To Washington in a close second.
  8. While I've often been fascinated with politics, I don't always follow current events very closely. I have a personality that is well cut out for debate, though, and some of my Facebook friends have witnessed political debates that I've gotten into. Along with my political postings on Facebook and Blogger, these are a way that I have participated in the political process above and beyond voting.
  9. I am a history buff.  I have spent many hours learning about history through books, movies, and documentaries. It was one of my earliest passions.
  10. Outside of religious figures like Joseph Smith, my greatest mortal hero is Ulysses S. Grant, the great Union general of the Civil War. I have read his memoirs, and I think he deserves as much credit for ending slavery and secession as Lincoln does.
  11. I collect history documentaries. I own documentaries about five different countries, 14 different American presidents, and 9 different wars (not including the Cold War). 12 of these documentaries are over ten hours long.
  12. I majored in Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing, and got a Certificate in Business Economics. The business majors at my school weren't allowed to minor in economics, but they could get a Certificate in Business Economics, which was only one class different. Thus, I tell people that I'm basically an economics minor. (Actually, with three more classes, I could have gotten a double major in Business Economics; but I wanted to graduate sooner, and thus forewent the double major.)
  13. My career goal when I graduated was to become a market research analyst, which is the scientific side of marketing. The social science aspects of marketing fascinate me, and I would have liked to get a job doing psychology stuff for businesses, or perhaps even political polling. But I have not had much luck in this search, and I am not sure if this will ever be my profession.
  14. Despite having had a bachelor's degree in business for six years, I haven't had stable full-time work since graduation. This is a source of much suffering and humiliation for me, but I attribute this to the bad economy. I think Obamacare is going to make things worse.
  15. I once applied to graduate school in journalism and mass communications, and took the GRE's as part of the application process. But despite high scores on these tests (67th percentile for math and 91st percentile for language), I was rejected from both schools I applied to, and took these rejections very hard. This might have been a blessing in disguise, though, as later reading of a textbook about journalism made me think that this was not a field for me.
  16. I would go for a graduate degree in marketing or marketing research, if it were not for the fact that the best master's programs in business require professional work experience. While I've had part-time work as a tutor for three subjects (math, Spanish, and history), I don't have the kind of professional work experience that MBA programs prefer, so I don't think this is an option for me at this time.
  17. I basically majored and minored in practical subjects, but I have spent much free time reading impractical things like philosophy (especially political philosophy). This ranges from the Founding Fathers to Machiavelli, from Adam Smith to Karl Marx. I have read Montesquieu's "The Spirit of Laws" in the original French, and Plato in the original Ancient Greek.
  18. I am a language buff, and I have read the Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price in three languages - English, Spanish, and French. I have also read the New Testament in English and Spanish.
  19. I do both personal scripture study and family scripture study, since I live at home with my family. My personal scripture study is done in English; and when my family reads the scriptures out loud in English, I follow along in Spanish, translating into English when it's my turn, and hearing my dad's critique of the translation. I am also currently reading a textbook about the history of the Spanish language which is entirely in Spanish, which I read out loud to practice my Spanish this way. Thus, I still keep up with my oral Spanish.
  20. When I'm watching movies on DVD, I like to turn on subtitles in foreign languages, listening to the dialogue in English while reading translations of it into French or Spanish. I've done 40 movies this way with French subtitles, and 90 movies this way with Spanish subtitles. (All of the movies are listed here.)
  21. I knew I didn't want to be a doctor or an engineer when I took high school chemistry, and I have never been good at natural science. But I've enjoyed some nature documentaries by David Attenborough, and have enjoyed Carl Sagan's Cosmos, even watching this eleven-hour astronomy series with French and Spanish subtitles.
  22. I did not go on a mission for my church, as I was honorably excused from missionary service for medical reasons. I am now past the age to go in youth anyway. I did, however, attend Spanish church meetings for some time until quite recently, when my geography (unfortunately) no longer allowed me to do so. In the time I did spend there, though; I have blessed the sacrament, borne my testimony, and given a lesson in Spanish; all without spending one day in a foreign country. (I even gave a talk in Spanish and translated another for my dad when he was a guest speaker there, but that's a subject for another post.)
  23. I like to read textbooks for fun. In addition to many assigned textbooks, I've read textbooks about everything from psychology to economics to linguistics. I recently read one about educational psychology, which may help me in my job as a tutor.
  24. One of my current projects is to try and read all of the primary sources about the trial of Socrates - in the original Ancient Greek - that are known to have survived. (There aren't too many of them, as it turns out; so it might not take as long as one might think.) I've already read Xenophon's "Apology", which is the only surviving account that was written by someone other than Plato. I've already read the first of the four Plato sources, which was his work the "Euthyphro." And I am currently reading Plato's version of the "Apology" story, which is probably the fuller account of the two. (The other Plato works in this series, in case you're wondering, are his work "Crito," and his work "Phaedo.") Despite all of these projects, I am still in the intermediate stages of learning this language at this time; and I will try to get more fluent by reading some - if not all - of these sources. I hope that in a few years, I will be able to read the New Testament in the original Greek.
  25. I can play piano by ear. I have learned a few jazz piano songs from listening to them on CD's; but outside of some limited sight-reading for singing, I cannot sight-read to save my life.

See also "25 more things about me"

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