I wrote the following for a book I contributed to recently. Presenting these words to my parents was truly a gratifying experience. The following has also been appended to the About page. –My best.
John Erik Metcalf â€œPut yourself in their shoes.â€ â€œDo you understand why you shouldnâ€™t do that?â€ â€œRemember the Golden Rule?â€ These are phrases that punctuated my upbringing. An only child, I grew up in the hill country north of San Antonio, Texas. I was homeschooled until eighth grade, when I chose to enroll in public school.
My parents, moderate conservatives, both work primarily from home â€“ teaching me there was a natural fit. Their approach was similar to the Montessori Method. Iâ€™d focus on one subject as long as I wished, sometimes weeks, when I became uninterested Iâ€™d move to another. The computer, first a Tandy 1000, was incorporated into many of my lessons. I wasnâ€™t allowed to play games much, so Iâ€™d recode them, then â€œtest â€˜em out.â€
I recall running errands as a family; my father would proclaim â€œLetâ€™s be Encouragers today.â€ Encouragers was a name conferred upon us by a neighbor years ago, itâ€™s an exercise my parents have always taught: inspire others with confidence wherever you are. A practice I strive to carry on today.
Public school was interesting, I learned about â€œclicksâ€ for the first time and how I wasnâ€™t wired for standardized testing. Whilst it was far from the most productive time in my life, I learned how to navigate within my contemporaries. In high school I began looking at school as a game, to thrive I had to understand the game better than the other players. Iâ€™ve felt the same social status game played within two corporations I worked at â€“ I left as fast as I could.
I bounced around a lot my first few years at The University of Texas, looking for a degree with the right curriculum and meta-framework. Starting in economics, then computer science, then business, I ended with a BS in advertising. Blending elements of creativity, synthetic thinking and sociology, this degree plan was an ideal fit for my thought process.
In 2003, after my sophomore year, I started a consulting company. Helping small businesses and nonprofits use technology to create an efficient work environment is what I do best. Economically and collaboratively, open source and Web 2.0 applications are transforming the workplace. I love to be the one to make it happen.
Today, along with wrapping up school and consulting part-time, I prefer to spend my days following the latest social entrepreneurs, internet trends, and Austin bike trails. I will continue to follow the example my parents have set for me and apply the concepts they have instilled in me to new facets of experience.