I wasn’t near as intimidated when I was finally enrolled in Computer Repair. I already knew most if not all of them and was part of the social group of half of them. It is where I was to learn a different lesson than from any other instructor I’ve ever had. Jay didn’t teach. Not exactly. Jay taught you how to think. Jay taught you to find answers and to study it until you understood it. Jay taught you to learn. I don’t believe I know of anybody that was in this trade at that time that does not respect the man. We didn’t go to him for answers. We went to the books, or the internet for answers. If we couldn’t find it, there was a list, of everybody in trade in order of their entry. We went to the person to enter trade prior to us. If they didn’t know, we both went to the person who came in before him. It seemed like a pain in the ass, but it ensure that everybody in any given chain, was going to learn the answer to a question.
One of the first things you get to do when you go into the Computer Repair trade is install DOS. Mind you this was 1999 so DOS was not a legacy and still an actuality. There were several computer types in the trade but getting to your first Pentium was the goal. Cause that not how you started. DOS wasn’t the end goal for this first system either. You then had to install Windows 95 of the 25 or so set of installment floppy disk. I think at the time there were reason this method was done and that was to make it a pain in the ass. The Windows 95 system requirements required a minimum of a 386DX processor, 4 megabytes of memory and at least 35-40 MB of storage. The actual requirement varies depending on the features you choose to install. What you have, is a 386SX and 4 megabytes of memory and DOS already installed, which from my trip through this endeavor was a key point of why by default, it would not install right off.
This was the start. There was, like retail sales, a set curriculum that led to completion of the program, but it was never the true goal of computer repair. Our goal wasn’t necessary completion, it was using that curriculum as a guideline for something. Our goal was industry certification. Our plan was the CompTIA A+ Certification. That would be equal to trade completion, but we didn’t even have to be done than. Looking back on it now, I wish I would have stayed there and finished further certifications instead of of going into college. College for me went nowhere, but the certifications, those would have gone far. From the A+ there was Network +, Inet + and Microsoft certifications that would have boosted a career quickly. Even learning Linux, at this time would have been a good educational decision.
By this point, I had also moved up in the Phase system. At the time, with members of these computer ferrets decked in our smocks, it gave us access to the private eating area during lunch times. It may be hard to believe, but in a place which many are sent by court order, not many get elevated privileges for behavior. There may have been a bit of an elitist behavior. If you compare it to elementary through high school you can likely understand that it was a good feeling. It wasn’t an attitude that was necessarily thrown in peoples faces but people were judged on their ability to reason simple concepts and even now, it amazes me that so many people can’t and so many people are joining them.
From this point on, it was off in this world. Up, go to class, get out, game. And as Maz has so kindly pointed out that he is one of, if not THE best gm of my lifetime. Soon came to be what we would refer to as the Tremere game. A game that was there to take a friends mind of his hatred for the holiday, but a game that came to be quite a legacy amongst our circle, including those that weren’t there from the beginning. It was where I first had the name Vidicous Korinon, although Korinon was actually borrowed. The Star Wars game I was becoming familiar and comfortable with the art. The Mage game added does show that even today, the GM of those games had an art to planning, and reacting to almost everything I can remember in a way that wasn’t malicious, but extremely practical. The Tremere game, which we’ll explain that later, is where I got to step out on my own and was the player / character that drove the game and story and everybody else fell in place. It was a fictitious game, in a fictitious world, but it showed me that I wasn’t necessarily just a follower, which to a large part I felt like.
It could have been that happened also. When you fall into a group, there is a place that you fill, or create. It just becomes a fact of who you are in that role. There are things that happen though. The way the group treats you that affect more than just your role in the group. This was more the life lesson I learned from them. That I didn’t have to just follow. If you consider being new to anything there is a learning curve, sometimes you need help. Between the computer ferrets role, and the gob gamer role, the answer to questions was, look it up. It was never, in either case to be malicious. It was to learn. When it came to either role, it built a lot of confidence. If a situation arose, in any case, I was aware of my knowledge/ characters knowledge and could offer it it up in a situation I thought it could apply. It’s really hard to imagine who I would be if I had not left Missouri, not went to computer repair and never met them and at. Its not a version of myself I would ever want to meet. It would be a version that I would likely despise.