Random geekery since 2005.

Husband, father, programmer, speaker, writer, blogger, podcaster, collector, traveler, golfer.

Incredibly Honored…

Written in


Two days ago, I received an email that really surprised me.

With this job, I am amazed at the people I get to meet. I’m making great friends on a daily basis with some of the smartest people in the Midwest (and the country, if you ask me.)

I do a good amount of speaking, and certainly in Ohio I’ve done my share lately. With each speaking engagement, I get the chance to leave an impression on a room full of people. Positive or negative, I’m leaving impressions. On Tuesday, I realized how far those impressions travel.

My live.com email address (if you know me, you could guess it) is one I use for places I need a LiveID. I don’t really use it for email, or calendar, etc. Just for logging in to sites that require it.

Occasionally (maybe once a month), I’ll jump over to the email, just to see if someone might have written me there by mistake. There were 6 messages, 5 of which challenged my masculinity in one way or another. The 6th message though, was from a woman named Paula Caso.

She was contacting me because she teaches at a Cleveland-area high school, and runs the computer club there. They were having a fundraiser, and were building a new computer that they would auction off later this spring. With their allotted budget, they built an amazing machine. High-end gaming system. However, they were short-sighted in their spending. They blew their whole budget on the machine, and forgot to leave something for an operating system. (Before you start talking about free ones, remember that this machine will be auctioned to the public, and Windows is almost certainly a requirement.) Her husband had seen me talk at the Cleveland .NET SIG, and thought she should contact me to see if I could help.

It was her signature line in her email that most intrigued me, however.

(PS: North Olmsted High School is a public 9-12 school on the west side of the Cleveland metropolitan area in Ohio.)

(PSS: Our computer club web site is http://www.nohsteachers.info/PCaso/NOHSCompClub/ — we maintain our own server, but our site is in need of updating.)

As it turns out, I grew up in North Olmsted, and spent my 4 years of high school at NOHS (as a three-sport athelete, no less). Smallest of worlds. So I’m looking into a way to help them out. And I let her know that. I also gave her a little background on what my role is with Microsoft. I told her that I’ve been writing/architecting software for the past 10 years, and that now I get to tell everyone about the new, cool things that we’re doing at Microsoft.

She immediately asked me if I would be interested in coming to talk to her computer club. Since I will be at the Cleveland .NET SIG on February 12, I told her she could have that entire day, if necessary. She contacted the principal, and got me a small assembly on that day.

They are going to pull math, physics, and computer science students from their classes to come hear what *I* have to say? Whoa. That’s flattering. I was expecting 8 kids in a classroom.

Looks like I need to wrap up this post and start writing a presentation.


One response to “Incredibly Honored…”

  1. Jason Avatar

    That just rocks. Having been in one of your presentations, I think you have the engaging type of personality to really connect with these high schoolers. I think if you showed them things like Seadragon or Photosynth, and then went to Popfly, that’d be a great lesson.I wonder how many of them actually ever get to play in Visual Web Developer…

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