My first college experience was while in the Army in Alaska. The Army encouraged me to continue college and paid for some of it, however due to “affirmative action”, I was not allowed to go to any officer school.
Upon leaving the army, I continued to go to college at Texarkana College, Texarkana, Texas while working very long and hard hours at a local tire factory. I purchased a Smith Corona word processor from Sears while working and going to school. Many thought I was rich for having such a marvel piece of electronics at that time. I did much better in college than in grade school. I was interested in business management and journalism throughout most of college.
I read a book called “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey and it influenced me enough to decide to quit the factory work and go to college full time. I applied to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville as a very unlikely candidate as it is a competitive school and my high school background was poor. But since I already achieved some college credits at junior colleges, they accepted me. Had I applied right out of high school, I would have surely been denied.
The University of Arkansas college life was very pleasing and exciting. I always miss it. The subjects I despised the most were algebra and literature. In late 1992, Bill Clinton came on campus to speak during his campaign rally and I held a sign that said “If Bush Wins - I Will Defect – Read My Lips – No More Bush!”. One person asked me where I would defect to and I said Canada. I really was more interested in Al Gore becoming VP rather than Clinton becoming President.
I would often go to the gymnasium to run, work out and practice basketball. I regret not being more serious about sports in high school to learn how to play. I became fairly good at shooting from half court, sometimes full court, and could reach the 10' rim. Sometimes I would interact with several of the players who played during the famous 1994 NCAA men's national basketball championship. Several of them went to the NBA. My only female friend, Trine Pilskog, was a track star from Norway, however I never dated any girls because I was too introverted and cautious. While I attended, Bud Walton Arena was under construction. The campus life was filled with much athleticism which encouraged me to be athletic, but I never in my life seriously participated in any competitive sport as a team member.
A communications professor, Rob Wyrick, introduced me to the Internet and Lexis Nexis. From there I wrote several research papers about Internet communication. At that time the Internet was limited to the military and privileged academic, legal researchers for the most part.
Art Hobson, a physics professor who wrote his own textbook, influenced my decision to be more interested in environmentalism.
I worked for the university's media services to film some stories around campus and also interned at KSFM, TV-5 where I assisted reporters and sometimes sat with the evening news anchor during a live broadcast. I decided not to pursue a career in journalism due to the low pay and competitiveness.
There were many pranks in my dormitory room and I lived off campus for the last few years. I spent more a lot of time going driving around, going to the local lakes and visiting family while at the U of A. I regret not spending more time on campus to study more and socially networking better. Once I was accepted into a fraternity, but quickly resigned the opportunity.
In 1995 I was the first and only of my generation to earn a college degree of any kind. In 1998 the state of Texas paid for me to go to paralegal school in Dallas. The paralegal school was most difficult for me and the dropout rate was very high, but I made it fine and interned at EDS in Plano, Texas. My goal was to become a patent and trademark paralegal at that time.
While working for a law firm in 2003, I decided I wanted to go to law school and obtained several letters of recommendations, took the LSAT test (score unknown), but didn't apply to any school. I was deterred due to the harshly inhumane curriculum and cost of law school.