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Great question. If I only had one video I could play it would be this.

Oh crap sorry! Extra Credits! Along with Heathcliff, I dedicate this story to the following people, in no particular order:

Ada Lovelace

Kurt Vonnegut

Bill Gates

Steve Jobs

Grace Hopper

Ray Kurzweil

Gabe Newell

Barack Obama

Michelle Obama

The Fam

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Issue: People : Education

I large time ago I lived in Stockton, California (a.k.a. the jungle). My parents loved me very much, but their workload kept them away for home, making me a latchkey kid. I would make my own lunches, correct my own homework, and came and went as I pleased. But my parents didn't worry much about me as I was quiet, stayed out of trouble, and got good grades.

I loved books and video games. For Christmas I would only ask for comic books, the series "What If," being my favorite, Calvin and Hobbes Anthologies, or modules for my favorite role playing game Villains and Vigilantes. On birthdays my mom would drive me to Toys R us and let me pick out one game. I would walk up and down the isles for hours studying game boxes, one year it took me 3 hours. I chose Street Fighter 2010 because I thought it had something to do with Street Fighter the fighting game. I regret that decision to this day.

I still use games as a placeholder for childhood memories. Some examples, I still resent my best friend at the time because we spent the whole night playing double dragon and after beating the final boss we were forced to fight each other over Marian's affections and he got the girl. I remember our family trip to Washington because my uncle had a Super Nintendo. I spent the whole time playing Super Mario World and to this day could not describe what the house looked like or what else we did there.

But around 4th grade I learned that most other people did not enjoy books or video games that much. Our class was assigned a book report, I did mine on the Calvin and Hobbes anthology "Weirdoes from another Planet." I was nervous being in front of the class, I looked down at the shaking paper and stuttered the whole time. In the middle of the report someone yelled "Homo!" and everyone laughed. I stopped reading and ran to my seat in the back and cried with my head covered, and stayed this way until the class had left.

After the class let out for recess the teacher sat next to me and told me the reason the other kids pick on me was because I don't join them in what they like to do. She suggested I take up sports, so I did. I stopped going to the school library at lunch and went to play soccer or baseball with everybody else. But as soon as the bell rang I would run home to read and play games in my room with the door locked because that is what I loved to do and didn't know how to love anything else. And for a long time after it became that secret thing I did alone, I was scared that people would pick on me because of the stuff I like to do. I still feel like that today, and most grown up people still pick on me when they find out.

The rest of childhood was pretty much the same. I wasn't thinking straight one day and pulled my Game Boy out at the bus stop to play Final Fantasy Adventure. Some big kids saw me playing and threw it against a brick wall for fun. And that was my life, I wore a red spider man shirt to my first day of high school and got jumped by some guys that took offense to my wearing red in a Crip school. they beat the crap out of me in the parking lot, and I finished the school day bloody and bruised, no one said a thing, and I never told my family. And from then on I was terrified of the place.

I pretty much lived out by the track, because not many people went back there. All of the other culturally or academically marginalized students steered clear of me because I attracted so much attention, because I looked just like the people that victimized them. So I just did the only thing I knew how to do, I got my work done, graduated as fast as possible, and ran away from the town and everyone in it. Then joined the Navy to create more distance. Another mistake, as my military experience quickly became high school with bigger guns.

I don't think I ever learned anything in a classroom I wouldn't have run into myself, all of my lessons started the second the bell rang and school let out.  

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