Born in Dumas, Texas (1 hour drive to Amarillo, 4.5 hour drive to Oklahoma City or Albuquerque, 6 hour drive to Dallas or Denver).
Raised in a TexMex home. Baptized into the Roman Catholic Church. Learned loyalty, grit, and unconventional intelligences from my family.
Passed the test for a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Stunk up the baseball diamond, but excelled on the gridiron. Learned all my on-demand tricks as a pet of many teachers.
Rebelled in that teenage way via hardcore punk and metal (complete with cross-dressing, painted nails, and cringe-inducing moments that still tense my muscles).
Conformed in that social animal way by playing in band Nobody Special, which was also the praise band for Fireproof Youth Group. We mixed pop praise music with our original hardcore tunes. Our vocalist screamed; our guitars wailed. Our youth pastor was a rapper and taught us to think for ourselves.
Duped people into letting me be student body president, salutatorian, and varsity powerlifter and offensive lineman. Prom King too. Wrote lots of angsty prose and created weird digital art.
Earned a full-tuition scholarship to St. Edward's University in Austin. Finally got a dyed mohawk and all those piercings I wanted. After people kept trying to buy drugs off of me, I disguised myself as a normie. Spent a spring break volunteering at the Whiteriver Apache Reservation and Center for Action and Contemplation. Communed for a year with Brothers of the Congregation of the Holy Cross.
Played TA in ethics and philosophy of art classes in the University of Houston. Eventually added an "M.A." to the "B.A."
Roamed Bochum, Germany for 10 months as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at Schiller-Schule Gymnasium.
Acted as the inaugural science teacher at North Plains Opportunity Center.
Moved to St. Louis, teaching philosophy at College Bound, St. Louis' Summer Institute. Failed as a teacher in inner-city St. Louis. Performed middlingly as a waiter at Molly Darcys Irish Pub.
Explored weird questions with professors and students at Vanderbilt University, mostly about the good life, technology, and how both affect who we are. This led to a Ph.D.