My name’s Pam Laricchia. I’ve been blogging on and off over the years on blogspot but during my most recent website overhaul I decided to host the blog myself. I feel more responsible for it that way, and I sleep a bit better having more control of my data and my writing, which I anticipate will continue to accumulate over the upcoming years.
You can find out all sorts of more formal stuff about me and my online presence on the About page. I don’t want to rehash that in my welcome post, so here I’ll share some more personal and fun tidbits about being Pam.
A common thread throughout my life has been computers. My Dad worked with them in the 60s and we had one at home from my early teens, using handset modems to dial in and play text adventure games. My first computer accompanied me through five years of university in the 80s as I got my dual degree in engineering physics and commerce (B. Eng. & Mgmt.). Having specialized in nuclear engineering, my first job was at the local nuclear power plant where I worked in maintenance engineering (not at a clean desk in the admin building, that more hands-off stuff never interested me) and earned my P. Eng designation, though I quickly gravitated to data collection and reporting. Then to the IT department where I wrote various client/server programs, designed well-received data tracking systems and reports, and then dove into data warehousing, supervising a pretty big DW project before I left to focus on what I felt was my most important job: mother to my now three kids.
Over the last 10 years or so at home I’ve continued to learn and program because it draws and excites me, from VBScript to html to php. Yesterday I was giddily telling my hubby about coding proportionally in css for my ebook formatting, and how it allows the reader’s unique e-reader settings to shine through without messing up how my ebook looks. Yeah, his eyes glazed over about halfway through that sentence too. LOL!
Now that my geek has peeked through the window, let’s throw open the curtains! What else do you probably not know … hmm.
Growing up my passion was ballet. For 12 or so years I could be found at my favourite ballet studio most nights of the week and the spring season would find our close-knit performance group busily rehearsing and performing. Some highlights of my amateur career included two weeks at a summer dance camp in New York (I think I was 12), the year we spent living in Sarnia, Ontario when my Mom drove me into London three nights a week for classes (snowstorms and singing LOTS of Billy Joel), being given a couple solos in the performace group (including the Doll Dance on pointe, adapted from The Nutcracker), and at 16/17 driving myself into Toronto three nights a week to take classes at the Lois Smith Dance School at George Brown College. At the end of that year I thought long and hard and, in the end, decided not to pursue a professional dance career. But I would never trade my years immersed in dance for anything! I learned so much about myself and how I tick, and I kept happily busy doing something I loved. Way cool.
I did branch out a bit and spend a couple summers involved with car racing alongside my then-boyfriend’s family. I volunteered and worked registration and pit crew at Mosport, and one summer they let me race their car! Shannonville, not Mosport, and only until said boyfriend crashed and put the souped-up VW out of commission for the rest of the season, but it was all very exciting and interesting. I still remember and use much of the driving knowledge I gathered during that time.
And last, but never least, I LOVE learning. It’s important to me to understand things for myself. I don’t take things I’m told at face value, I need for them to make sense in my world, in my experience. A quote that has guided me since I first read it at age 14: “Whenever you find yourself facing an apparent contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.” (Francisco D’Anconia, Altas Shrugged) When something doesn’t make sense to me, I try to remember to check my premises. I constrast what I’ve been told against what I’ve experienced, and what I’ve seen firsthand, especially with my children. This was the perspective from which I began to question mainstream parenting and education. And it’s been an amazing ride ever since!