autobiography (2 versions)

Two versions of my autobiography, both written around sometime between 2000 and 2002.

Version 1

I was born in Troy, Ohio in February of 1975.  I grew up in nearby Sidney, a small industrial and agricultural town of about 20,000 people.  I was raised in a house in the country, where I enjoyed playing in the creek, riding the lawn mower, playing with my toy train, and building a club house.
After my parents divorced, I lived primarily with my mother and stepfather, an executive for Alcoa.  I became active in the hobby of amateur radio, and soon received a general class license (KB8FOU).  I attended public schools in Sidney, which I very much disliked.
In 1989, I moved to San Jose, California with my mother and stepfather.  Unfortunately, shortly after our move the 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake struck, and my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The new house survived the quake, however, and after a year of chemotherapy, my mother was in remission.
In San Jose, I furthered my interest in amateur radio, talking with people around the world, including an astronaut in outer space.  I spoke at ham radio conventions in Ohio and California, wrote a regular column in WorldRadio Magazine, and was interviewed on Newsline and KRON-TV.  I also served for several years as an officer and member of the board of a local ham radio organization.
Public school did little to challenge me intellectually, so I busied myself with extracurricular activities.  I was the editor of the Del Mar High School yearbook and newspaper, a lab assistant for my chemistry teacher, a peer counselor, active in student government, and co-founder of the school's Junior State of America (JSA) chapter.  I took several AP courses, studied Spanish in Mexico, and was a member of the California Scholarship Federation (CSF).
During high school, I had my first job, as a retail clerk at Photo Drive Up.  I also developed my libertarian political beliefs, which prompted my interest to become a lawyer.  Amateur radio promoted my interest in technology, and I started a BBS on-line service for ham radio, in the era before the internet.  My graduation from high school was marred by the death of my stepfather, from lung cancer.
I attended San Jose State University, where I was accepted into the Humanities Honors program.  My major was political science, with a minor in administration of justice.  I was a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society, the Academic Fairness Committee, the Associated Students Finance Committee, and the Student Grievance Committee.  I also spent a summer in Europe and time in Mexico on study abroad programs.
I graduated cum laude after only three years of study.  I was recognized at my graduation as a Pi Sigma Alpha honors graduate, a Dean's Scholar, and awarded an Associated Students Club Fellowship.
During college, I worked part-time as a receptionist at a law office.  When one of the attorneys needed a law clerk, I took the job.  I became convinced that law school was the right path for me, and set my sights on Santa Clara University School of Law.  Santa Clara is a well respected school, ranked fifth nationwide for intellectual property studies.  The campus is gorgeous, and close to my home.  I was thrilled when it was the first school to which I was accepted.
Law school was everything I thought it would be.  I found each class to be intellectually stimulating and interesting.  After my first year, I studied abroad at Hong Kong University and interned at Deacons Graham & James in Hong Kong.  When I returned, I became a research assistant for a professor, and assisted in the research for several published articles.  My courses during law school included Internet Law, E-Commerce, both Personal and High-Tech Taxation, and International Law.   In addition to my studies, I was a member of the International Property Association, International Law Society, Public Interest Law Program, BGLAd, and of the Legislative Committee of the Student Bar Association.  In my spare time, I volunteered for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
In each of the three years of law school, I received the Emery Law Scholarship, based on academic achievement and professional promise, and the Pro Bono Award for community service. 
In 1999, I was awarded the school's Public Interest Endowment Fellowship, which funded my work at Bay Area Legal Aid.  While working there, I was formally trained in the areas of public benefits, fair housing and fair lending, and assisted hundreds of impoverished clients with legal issues affecting public benefits and housing.  My duties included drafting briefs, preparing cases for hearings, negotiating settlements with landlords and government agencies, and implementing outreach programs.  I represented clients at administrative hearings before the Social Security Administration, and recovered over $50,000 owed to my clients from the government and landlords.
I graduated from law school in May 2000 and received my Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree.  I was also awarded a certificate in public interest law.  I took the bar exam in July of 2000, and wrote a primer about the bar exam.
As a result of on campus interviews, I was offered positions with two of the Big 5 accounting firms.  The decision between the two was difficult, but I choose PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and I presently work there as an associate in the Tax & Legal Services department, in the Technology Information Communication & Entertainment industry group.

Version 2

The Early Years
My life started in February of 1975 when I was born in a small town in Ohio.  Soon after my birth, I moved in with my parents.  The area we lived in was mostly industrial and agricultural, which meant unions were as popular as American-made cars, and I could tell what month it was from the height of the corn.
I was raised in a house in the country (that's a midwestern word for "farmland").  We had a creek in the backyard that I played in, and several acres of land that I loved to mow with the riding lawnmower.  With the help of my dad, I built a toy train in the basement, and a club house under the willow tree in the back yard.  Those were the years that I learned how to play the piano, violin, and trumpet.  That was a rather painful experience for both me and my parents.
Growing up in rural Ohio was kind of boring, so one of my friends suggested that I get involved in amateur radio (KB8FOU).  Learning the Morse Code was difficult, but I really enjoyed talking with people all over the world.
     Escape to California
In 1989, right before the Loma Prieta earthquake, I moved to San Jose, California with my mother and stepfather.  Around that time, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  After a year of chemotherapy at Stanford Hospital, she was safely in remission.
I continued my interest in amateur radio by talking with people around the world, including an astronaut in the Space Shuttle.  I spoke at conventions in Ohio and California, wrote a column in WorldRadio Magazine, and was interviewed on KRON-TV.  I also served for several years as an officer and member of the board of a local ham radio organization.  Those activities gave me confidence in public speaking and leadership experience.
Public school in California wasn't exactly a pillar of intellectual stimulation, so I busied myself with extracurricular activities.  I was the editor of the Del Mar High School yearbook and newspaper, a lab assistant for my chemistry teacher (that's when I discovered I wasn't meant to be an engineer), a peer counselor, active in student government, and co-founder of the school's Junior State of America (JSA) chapter.  I took several AP courses, studied Spanish in Mexico, and was a member of the California Scholarship Federation (CSF).
During high school, I had my first job, as a retail clerk at Photo Drive Up.  It's really amazing what people take pictures of.  I also developed my libertarian political beliefs, which prompted my interest to become a lawyer.  Amateur radio led to my interest in technology, and I started an on-line BBS, in the era before the internet became common.  I got "on-line" in 1993, when the internet was just starting to become publicly available.  My graduation from high school coincided with the death of my stepfather, from lung cancer.
     College
I attended San Jose State University, where I was enrolled in the humanities honors program.  My major was political science, with a poorly chosen minor in administration of justice.  I stayed busy as a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society, the Academic Fairness Committee, the Associated Students Finance Committee, and the Student Grievance Committee.  I also spent a summer in Europe and time in Mexico on study abroad programs.
I graduated cum laude after only three years of college.  I was recognized at my graduation as a Pi Sigma Alpha honors graduate, a Dean's Scholar, and awarded an Associated Students Club Fellowship.
During college, I worked part-time as a clerk at a law office.  I became convinced that law school was the right path for me, so I took the LSAT, and set my sights on Santa Clara University School of Law.  Santa Clara is a well respected law school, and ranked in the top-ten nationwide for intellectual property studies.  Plus, the campus is gorgeous, and close to my home.  I was thrilled when it was the first school to which I was accepted.
Law school was everything I thought it would be.  I found each class to be intellectually stimulating and interesting.  After my first year, I studied abroad at Hong Kong University and interned at Deacons Graham & James in Hong Kong.  When I returned, I became a research assistant for a professor, and assisted with his research for several published articles.  My courses during law school included Internet Law, E-Commerce, both Personal and High-Tech Taxation, and International Law.   In addition to my studies, I was a member of the International Property Association, International Law Society, Public Interest Law Program, BGLAd, and the Legislative Committee of the Student Bar Association.  In my spare time, I volunteered for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to terminally ill children.  I also designed web sites, including an e-book for a law school professor.
In each of my three years of law school, I received the Emery Law Scholarship, based on academic achievement and professional promise, and the Pro Bono Award for community service. 
In 1999, I was awarded the school's Public Interest Endowment Fellowship, which funded part of my work at Bay Area Legal Aid (BALA).  While working at BALA, I was trained in the areas of public benefits, fair housing and fair lending, and assisted hundreds of impoverished clients with legal issues affecting public benefits and housing.  I also authored a book with information about public benefit programs available in Santa Clara County.  My duties at BALA included drafting briefs, preparing cases for hearings, negotiating settlements with landlords and government agencies, and implementing outreach programs.  I represented clients at administrative hearings before the Social Security Administration, and recovered over $50,000 owed to my clients from the government and landlords.
     Employment
I graduated from law school in May 2000 with my Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree.  I was also awarded a certificate in public interest law.  I took and passed the California Bar Exam in July of 2000, and then wrote the highly acclaimed California Bar Exam Primer about my experience preparing for the bar exam.
As a result of on-campus interviews, I was offered a position with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where I have worked since the fall of 2000.  PwC is the largest of the Big-5 public accounting, audit and business consulting firms, and the world's largest professional services corporation.  I work in the Tax & Legal Services (TLS) department, in the Technology Information Communication & Entertainment (TICE) industry group.  My duties involve developing and implementing ways to reduce my clients' tax liabilities, particularly when they merge with or acquire other companies.  I also make sure that my clients, who are mostly high technology corporations, partnerships, and high-net-worth individuals, comply with their tax filing requirements.
     Life
In November of 2000 I bought a townhouse near downtown Campbell (a suburb of San Jose), where I currently live.
In addition to my job at PricewaterhouseCoopers, I am a volunteer "pro bono" attorney for various community groups, I teach classes at a local high school, and I continue my volunteer work for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  I am also taking classes at San Jose State University in the Masters of Taxation program.  In my spare time I enjoy running, reading mystery novels, and watching DVD movies.

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