My education has been, as with most things in my life, a bit unusual. I was labeled “academically gifted” early on, and basically this just seemed to acknowledge my general lack of interest in what the teacher was saying… I got that, now what?! The school pushed for special classes, my parents wanted to home school me—no way I’d ever agree to that, I’ve always been far too social!
I as a performing arts student at the Northwest School of Performing Arts, exiting the program as first chair, first violin and soloist. While at Northwest I was part of the year-round Open magnet school curriculum, which meant a couple of weeks on, a couple of weeks off, instead of a whole summer break. I went on to Harding University High, an International Baccalaureate (IB) school focused on Math, Science and Technology.
On December 1st, 1996—the day I turned sixteen—I dropped out of high school, and enrolled in college.
Over the course of ten years I have studied Advertising, Print & Graphic Design, Communication, Computer Science, Digital Media, Law, and the Social Sciences with a focus on Gender, Ethnicity and Culture, and Creative Writing in Rome, Italy.
University of Washington
A focused study of Communication and Culture, Technology, and Society, including International and political communication, rhetoric, critical studies, and social interaction.
Explores the diverse political, social, environmental, gender, ethnic, and cultural perspectives for a greater understanding of issues, ideas, and themes in history and in the contemporary world by application of analytical, research, and communication skills.
Gender, Ethnicity, and Culture
Studies the cultural, geographic, historical, political, psychological, and social factors which define, shape, and change the various peoples of the United States. Racism, age and sex discrimination, the status and role of women, the treatment of immigrants, the emergence of classes and sociocultural interest groups, and aspects of religious movements and religious conflict are core topics. Courses assessing theories that examine and explain these issues are also essential.
Creative Writing at the Palazzo Pio, the University of Washington Rome Center
With insatiable insouciance, I joined a merry “band of ink-stained writer-adventurers for a month of concentrated exercise and conversation in and about the Eternal City. This is Rome from a generalists’s perspective: history and geography, art and architecture, language and literature, the color and vagary and flavor of daily life all constellate in the writer’s notebook. Following in the footsteps of those poets, painters, saints and soldiers who for some two and a half millennia have traveled where all roads lead, we’ll sack the city word by cobble, in conversation, practice, and stride. ”
It was my honor to be taught creative writing by Professor—it seems odd to put in writing what we never uttered—Richard Kenney, a MacArthur Fellow (the “Genius Award”), and the true Renaissance man, poet Kevin Craft, who studies English & French, Drama, and the Romance languages.
And thus more than a decade later, on June 9, 2007 I became a graduate of the University of Washington, dual major in Communication & Social Sciences, with honors—without a high school diploma (or GED).
It was with the support of my mentor, Barbara Yager, and Microsoft—who even let me work from Rome while I studied abroad Summer 2007.