I guess the earliest inclination of this is knowing computers. I can’t tell you how many friends’ and family’s computers I’ve de-spywared, repaired, and reformatted over the years. Unfortunately, like most tech heads I know, you start to cringe at everyone’s insistence that you help them in their technological ills. But thankfully, I enjoyed every chance I got to crack open a new machine and see different configurations and have a chance to work with, and troubleshoot some new hardware. And see what kind of crap different manufacturers may have junked up a brand new computer with. My good friend Chachi started playing around with computers around the time I was heavy into them in high school, seemed to fall out of it for a bit, and now knows more about networking than I ever did.
Time went by, and I’m out of the Art Institute. I was “discovered” by Bryan, who, at the time, was just getting Cinemanix up and running. After aiding in getting his website up and running, I was asked to do a pair of teaching sessions about Macromedia Dreamweaver (yeh, it’s Adobe’s now) . First, with a guy currently in the trade of web development, using Adobe GoLive. He had found most of his freelancers used Dreamweaver, and wanted to bridge the gap. Second, a Fox Chapel high school teacher wanted to upgrade his Web Building class from Frontpage to the more robust, and industry standard Dreamweaver. I dived in, not knowing if I’d have to teach these guys HTML from the start, since I had little background information going in, and ended up learning a little bit in the meantime.
Then Podcamp rolled around. I volunteered the Wrestling Mayhem Show crew’s services. I didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t know if the information, or ranting, we dealt out would be informative, but we were bound and determined not to be boring. We brought Pocky, our Japanese candy of choice, to share with the crowd, and somehow ended up demonstrating a chop, incurring some “fan interaction”, our theme, and allowing the audience to “woo” and we’d inflict chopping violence on each other. We followed this up with Bootcamp in April. This time myself and Will, talking about being a niche, and how to maintain it. We didn’t know what to expect. It was early, I was sick. But we talked, and answered questions, and came to found we had fans of our first presentation. And people asked questions. And I was complimented a couple times at a recent Podcamp Meetup on our presentation. I’m glad to see it wasn’t all interpereted as show. And now we are already discussing what other topics we can cover at Podcamp. Will even wants to do his own session.
And even more recently, I’d found myself involved with a freelance job doing a documentary for the Sarah Heinz House. I found myself teaching a “computer fearful” woman how to use her new laptop, use Adobe Premiere to edit and capture. Just today, I thought someone from the video industry how to setup his laptop to record interviews and such on a portable basis for a podcast-type presentation. Both have had nothing by resounding compliments for me. Some of the kids also have taken an interest in “what I do”. Asking questions about why I’m in this job, what I like about it. One of the kids wants to do video when he’s older.
In house, I’ve been taking in new music endeavors, helping my friends with the knowledge I garnered in creating our first album for CRAP. From recording, to song ideas. I learned from Dr. Espling, and built on his knowledge, now I’m sharing that, and hope to build something with these new participants in this endeavor.
The Mayhem Crew are learning, little by little, how to do the show, so maybe if I have something important that comes up out of no where, they can carry on with out me, as scary as that is…
I never fancied myself a teacher, really. But then again, I never saw myself getting in front of a classroom, or getting up on stage and singing about monkeys that fling poo. But I look at it, it’s a really good feeling to be looked upon for information, and be able to provide it sufficiently. I read a recent blog about “Sharing your Superpowers”.
Teaching people what you know. Because it’s valuable to someone.