I have no axe to grind; only my thoughts to burnish. -- George Santayana, "Character and Opinion in the United States"
Name: Benjamin A. Okopnik
Age: Current_year - 1962 = Current_age. The actual solution is left to the student; creative answers will be graded appropriately, with bastinado being reserved for the wittiest and applause for the most charming. Note that a combination of the two is hereby explicitly not excluded.
Residence: Wherever Sailing Vessel "Flight" happens to be anchored.
Likes: Probity, integrity, and clarity. Sailing. Warm clear waters to dive in, the laughter and enjoyment of friends, good red wine, dealing with the world effectively. Writing a program that runs without errors the first time. Classical, jazz, and classic rock, sharp dry wit in writing, theatre, and life. The pleasure of being expert in a complex technical topic or discipline. Standing straight and telling the truth, no matter how many old fears scream in outrage. Being brave enough to be kind. Fine craftsmanship, competence, and ability. Access to that deep inner calm and quiet courage in adversity. Well-designed machinery, poetry, or thought/belief systems. Dolphins surfing under my bow.
Dislikes: Willful ignorance. Blind adherence to unexamined ideas and meme complexes. Self-defeating beliefs. Prescriptive moralizers. Manipulators. Cigarette smoke. Cold weather. Being blocked in expressing my creativity.
Work: I teach classes on a number of topics for Oracle as well as a number of private clients; I also do quite a bit of private consulting and development, in a broad variety of different contexts. I really love teaching; the process of transferring knowledge. I love catching the moment the gestalt happens and a student suddenly sees the world from the different perspective that new understanding brings. There is a philosophical basis underneath it all - a belief that most of the world's problems can be eased or fixed by raising the world-wide level of education - but in short, teaching suits me to the core. It's what I do, but more importantly, it's who I am.
Hobbies and other lifestyle stuff:
"I don't have a 'lifestyle', I have a life." -- Neil SimonComputers, unsurprisingly - but much more than that, too. I sometimes wonder how I find the time...
- Saltwater and freshwater fishing
- Martial arts
- Flying (I'm half-way to a Private Pilot's license)
- Scuba diving (too cold in the winter!)
- Horseback riding
- Massage therapy (I'm good now, but I want some formal training!)