When I was a little boy I remember dreaming about what I was going to be when I grew up. I thought I wanted to enter the world of robotics, electronics and cybernetics. Even as a 6 year old I thought that the idea of cyborgs were so cool that I needed to be a part of that field. I needed to build a robotic dog pal that would travel the world with me. I needed to be a part of something that could not only benefit mankind, but could create an entity powerful enough to make the world tremble. That power shouldn’t just be left to mad scientists, but should be in the hands of mad children as well.
Then something happened. I entered High School and started singing. Almost everything I did after freshman year was centered in vocal music. I fell in love with Chorales, Oratorios, Musical Theater, et cetera, et cetera. The infatuation of servos and electrodes were replaced with intonation and breath support. My peers in High School would know me as the “vocal” guy. Behind the scenes I was still a techno-geek. I still played with computers and attempted to take over the world in “mad” style, but usually humming show tunes as I did it. (Maybe that was the truest sign of being mad).
Then I went to college … University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music. Luckily, I went to school on a vocal performance/music education vocal scholarship. My computer joined me on the journey and I was able to start composing (using MusicTime, a program that doesn’t exist anymore) and singing using electronics. I wasn’t taking over the world, but I was trying to utilize technology. Most of my “music” friends didn’t have a clue what I was doing. But I was ok with it. I had my music friends on one side and my computer friends on the other. Sure we didn’t tread on the same road, but I wasn’t worried.
But that didn’t last. Something broke in me at Hartt. I needed to take a break. I dropped out of school and headed out west. Who knows what I was trying to pursue …. certainly I didn’t. All I know is that when I got out here I ventured into computers again. I got back into programming and started developing systems for people that now have become common place, but at the time … was very new. I stopped singing. Most of the “singers” I met in the west made me so frustrated that I completely lost the desire. And the hope of cybernetics? That was left to the child back in New Hampshire that was bright eyed and bushy tailed.
What happened to the dream? I think it was the strength of necessity that made me stop. I needed to pay the bills and I ended up falling back on a skill that was worthwhile … the skill of knowledge. I still dream of working in robotics, but for now it’s a dream. I watch science fiction in hopes of living near the reality, but unfortunately my current skill set has not lead me in that direction … except …
I use computers on a daily basis, and I show how others can utilize those computers in their daily activities to be more efficient and successful. Granted it’s not an implant in the body or a “little buddy” that they can converse, but it is pretty close to that idea. My days are spent looking at the weaving melodies of needs and wants, dreams and realities and multiple personalities of clientele. Interwoven with those melodies are the underlying themes of “efficiency” that electronics can contribute. So possibly, my original hope is not entirely out of my reach. Or even better … it’s there in another insight and moment.
When I feel a little down in my life for not achieving as much as my friends of old I think of that little boy wishing for his robotic dog to pal around the world with him. I think of him; tell him what I’m doing now; and hope that he smiles just a little. Sure my robot dog is a laptop computer. And my building of cybernetics is the building of successful infrastructure. But in the end we both are doing what we wanted to do … Benefiting mankind by being slightly “mad”.
Now I’ve just got to figure out how I’m taking over the world.