I would like you to know me. Joshua Brad Galvez, born 19 August 1985. As such, I share with you this, my account of my life. I will attempt to share with you the truth as I see it. The good and the bad. I am not a storyteller, nor is my writing eloquent, but here it is.
I have reached a landmark in my life. A life that has been rewarding to me. I have not lived a perfect life, nor has all been perfect for me. It's been a relatively simple life. I have not had any huge life changing experiences, single moments where I can see that all was suddenly different. No near death injuries, no broken bones. I have not won the lottery, or made a million dollars before age sixteen (not for lack of trying). Never been really hurt, never been deeply in love.
My life has not been uninteresting, providing me with some unique opportunities. I'm blind. I was home-schooled. I have an awesome knack for all things of recent technology. I love to learn. I'm motivated to do things right when I do them. I care about people. Grudges and desire to cause hurt and discomfort are foreign to me. My right arm is crooked, I can not extend it straight. I am usually the youngest of those I associate with. I have a hard time with "small talk." I am not shy when it comes to meeting people. But extending the relationship beyond "Hi" is not a simple task for me. I have a hard time sharing myself with others, portraying my feelings.
I was born with Ocular Albinism, an inherited condition that caused my retina to not develop properly. I was classified as legally blind. I did not attend the school for the deaf and blind. My parents did not feel that it was right. An itinerant teacher was assigned to me and any needed resources were available. This is something that has been of little issue to me through my life. I get little closer to things to read. I use a magnifying glass to ready small print. I don't see detail at far distances. I like to compare it to what you might see when you look through binoculars the wrong direction. My first drivers license had a 40mph restriction, this was later lifted.
I've had many types of formal education. My schooling began early, my mom made every effort to educate me. When I entered kindergarten I was the oldest in my class. I was well advanced over everyone in that class, the content was basic. I remember sitting in the principals office meeting with her to discuss advancing me to the first grade. I joined my new class the following Monday, now the youngest. I had an awesome teacher, my teachers through all my elementary schooling were great. I loved learning, I loved math. After the first grade boundaries were rearranged and I was transferred to new school. I made a few good friends those years. People that I still consider friends. Cameron, Kurt, and still my best friend Rainier. I also had my first crush, Tina. I did some stupid things for her attention. Certainly more daring then I would ever be now. Stupid things. Like tying myself to my desk with the string of my sweatpants. I couldn't get the knot undone, but she would. In third grade I entered the Utah Math and Science Olympiad. I believe my team placed second. I began bringing my backpack to school full of wires, batteries, capacitors, LEDs and other electronic components. For Rainier and I recess was spent working with these. During fourth grade I would leave school early once a week and attend Continuing Education courses by Weber State University. My Grandpa taught for them. I was the youngest in the Windows 95 and other Microsoft Certification courses. I completed my math book half way through the school year, I got in trouble for that. I was bringing other books to class to read, I was bored. We talked to my teacher and the school principal. The only answer we could get was "I can only go as fast as the slowest student in my class." It was on my teachers recommendation that my mother looked into a possibility that changed my life, home-schooling. I did not attend public school the next year. Nor did I return for high-school. I never graduated from high-school, I have not received a high-school diploma. This has not been a problem for me. I was enrolled at Weber State University at age 15. The admission process was not difficult with the high marks I received on the ACT and letters of recommendation from my many extracurricular activities. I did receive many looks, but nothing I was not used to.
My course was obvious to me. Computer Science. This is where my love lies, it is where I excel. My first personal computer was an IBM PC, with two 5-1/4" drives. My dad bought it for well more than we have ever payed for a computer since. His dad was on the hospital board and were purchasing many of them, so we received a bulk discount. I used this computer for many things, I learned BASIC on it. I learned the basics of a DOS. Soon after I started using the PC we received an Apple IIe. This became my personal computer. I know every upgrade we've had since then, but they don't really matter now. I learned lots, programming, networking, OS usage, theory, hardware assembly. It is my love.
But more than loving computers, I love to learn, I love to study. I love to read. I have an awesome desire to constantly be growing. My favorite questions have always been, why do you do that? How does that work? etc... They have moved me far in this world.
There has been one major challenge in my life that I've had to overcome. Silence. Lack of communication. My father's family are some of the kindest, most successful, hardest working, awesome people that I know, yet they lack one thing, communication. My mom remembers a 2 hour car ride just after being engaged, with him and his parents to go to a sisters house for dinner where not a word was said. These characteristics left me without a father for 16 years. Oh he was around, and he provided for the family, but for 16 years I did not know him. Did not know what he loved, what his favorite color was, if he enjoyed doing anything. He made every effort to be to anything important to us, ball games, performances, whatever. He worked as a general manager for a video store chain and was never home. Well, he left for work at 7 or 8 in the morning, be home at 6 for dinner. He would help with math homework, for that is where he excelled, his degree in accounting. But never did I feel an expressed interest in what I was doing. A desire to want to do things with me, we never built bonds as father and son. I tried to express this to my mom, but I don't know that I ever did. I got irritated with things, I felt like when I expressed my self I wasn't understood. Somewhere along the line here I read Songmaster by Orson Scott Card. This book changed my life. I began to realize that control was what I needed. If I can control my emotions, if I can not show others how I feel. Than I don't feel it. I became fairly good at this. Which was not a good thing. Because as Ansett did, I began to drown, in my emotion. Not because I was angry at anybody or because I held a grudge, but because I was cutting myself off from contact, communicating less and less. This was not who I wanted to be. My father changed careers when I was 13, started commercial real estate. He began to realize that things weren't perfect at home and began to try harder. It was well that it was at this time, he grew bonds with my younger siblings, and they had a Dad in their life. I still had a brick wall up around me. This did not shatter until I was 16 when I left home for college. The day before I left I broke down, and yelled at my father, told him everything that was wrong, everything that he wasn't for me, I didn't have a dad. My father never yelled, never got upset, ever. He didn't now either, All he said was "I know," I left after that. It took a while, but we began building a relationship, 300 miles apart, we now could talk.
I have had many jobs through my life. I have an entrepreneurial spirit. I was the kid running the lemon-aide stand, buying 3 cent candy at the dairy and selling it for 5 cents. I opened my first company at age 12. Zevlag Computing. I designed and printed advertising fliers, delivered them to everyone in the neighborhoods around my house. Offering computer services, networking, repair, building, etc. I didn't get a ton of business, but I did receive some. I did well with what I did and my reputation grew. I began to have some local businesses for clients. This continued until I left for school. While away in Cedar City I started a new company, with a direct market of the small businesses. We immediately did well. I sold my interest in the company when I left. I continue to do consulting work under the Zevlag Computing entity. I've worked a number of other computer related jobs. Lab technician at WSU, Senior Engineer at HiTech Marketing, Network Administrator at Webpipe.net.
I care about people, I really do. When I ask someone how they are doing, I really want to know, I like to do what i can to help. To help others feel more comfortable. It's not easy to offend me or upset me, if you do, well, the feelings don't last long. I don't hold grudges. Forgiveness comes quickly.
My goals in life aren't outrageous, but they are lofty, some see them as impossible. I have found I can do anything I want if I try. I love to work, but I don't love that I have to work. I want to have enough investment that by age 30 I can walk away from my "job" and spend a year traveling with my family, Without any worries. I want to have enough that I can help a friend in need. I want to be able to see those that I love and care about, wherever they are.
We come to now, a landmark in my life, in so many ways.
It has been a dream of mine to be in New Zealand. This dream has been fulfilled. I am here. It is everything I wanted it to be. Beautiful. It feels like home. I look forward to moving here in the future.
I am happy. I feel like I have lived a successful life, not perfect, but I have no loose ends, nothing that right now I would feel like I would have missed out on if I were to disappear.
I am ready for the next step in my life
I was asked to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I accepted this call. I will be going to Melbourne, Australia for 2 years, teaching in Mandarin Chinese. 1 December 2004 I go to the Missionary Training Center in Utah for 3 months to study Chinese, and then I go to Oz. This is something that is right for me. There have been many hard decisions in my life, but none of them were as hard for me to make, as it was for me to decide if now was the right time for me to do this. I have a testimony of Jesus Christ, of a Father in Heaven that loves us, and of the truthfulness of the gospel I've been asked to share.
You guys have meant a lot to me over the years. You are my family. This has been home. I look forward to returning in 2 years. Thank you dearly for those of you have cared for me, and all of you that make up this place I call home.
Z, I knew you were cool when we played out first Mafia game together. You have always posted interesting things and I've enjoyed reading them. I wish you luck in Australia, but I'll miss having you around here.
Posts: 9871 | Registered: Aug 2001
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Josh-have a wonderful trip to Australia and most certainly good luck with your mission. I can tell you with the utmost confidence that good vibes will definitely be coming your way from me. I'm sure we will miss you very much here at the 'Rack and will look forward to your return. I have always enjoyed your posts, and I feel like Hatrack is losing a valuable member (if only for two years). Have a wonderful time, and try not to miss us too much here.
Speaking Mandarin Chinese in Australia? I'd watch out, Zev - you may end up returning with...
Of course, I'm exceedingly jealous that first you get to go to New Zealand for fun, and then get to go to Australia for religion. What's next? Some dude will have a computer problem in Maui that requires your attention?
Good luck with it, though.
quote:My first drivers license had a 40mph restriction
*drops jaw* Did you abide by it? If so, you're a stronger man then I ever could be.
Posts: 2288 | Registered: Aug 2003
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I hope you well, man. can you send postcard? That way I can walk back from class in the cold Wisconsin winter and read about your summers in Australia...hey...I think I'd be getting the short end of that stick....
Troub: hasn't there been a large influx of East Asian people that have caused some resentment? Satyagraha
quote:Goatee: Some dude will have a computer problem in Maui that requires your attention?
...well, I live on Kauai, and my computer HAS been acting up recently...
Awesome post, Zev Man. I'm glad I was around last night to wave those pompoms while you were starting to write it. So many things I never knew about you; it was great to learn more about you, bud. *respect for the other Z*
Great landmark. I was pleased to have the opportunity to learn a bit more about you.
If I recall correctly, I've told you this before, but I find your entrepreneurial spirit incredibly impressive. I have always admired dedicated self-starters, and you are definitely at the head of the pack in that regard. Keep it up.
Thanks for being the kind, caring, friendly, and interesting person you are. Have a ton of fun and success on your mission and remember to try to check in once in a while. We'll miss you.
Posts: 4268 | Registered: Jan 2001
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Insanity Plea, only amongst the more rural communities. There's a political party called "One Nation" which was founded by a VERY scary lady called Pauline Hanson, who used to run a fish & chip shop in rural Queensland - one of our more redneckish states. One Nation was built on a platform of a "white Australia" type policy, which is a bit ridiculous considering our outrageously diverse cultural history.
Anyway, they didn't hold much sway for long, although the scary man-behind-the-scenes-facist David Oldfield managed to kick out Hanson and take over the party.
We also have legislation that puts boat-people (people who are smuggled into Australia via boats from nearby islands) into mandatory detention. The weight of public opinion seems to come firmly down against that too.
So while the media makes a big hullaballoo about it all, it's not really seen that much in daily life.
OH - and Melbourne is the WEIRDEST place to come to in Australia when it comes to whether... but I've just had an idea and will publish that info in another thread.
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Wow I didn't realize you were a sibling until tonight! I knew you were close kin, just not the exact kinship. (That crazy Bernard is always adopting people and forgetting to tell me.)
I'm going to miss you here at hatrack so much while you are away, but I do love snail mail so I will write faithfully, I promise! Anything you want me to post for you here you can write to me (or to anyone else for that matter, I'm sure) and we will get the message through.
Thanks for posting such a wonderful landmark. You're an amazing person and this is a new window onto who you are. I know the investigators in Melbourne are incredibly lucky that you chose to serve this mission. You have such a great spirit about you, and such a powerful love for everyone. I know you are my acolyte but it is I who look up to you and hope to be like you someday. Best of luck at the MTC and for all of your life. I feel quite privileged to know you.
Posts: 6193 | Registered: Aug 2004
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Upon meeting you, I knew there was an incredibly good person within. There is something wonderfully familiar about you even though we have only spoken a few times (and most of that was engaged in geek-speak). I have been pleased to make your acquaintance and inspired to be a better person. Go onto the world and do good works and through teaching learn and share.
Posts: 1777 | Registered: Jan 2003
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Congratulations on all the wonderful things in your life, some of which you worked hard for, others that fell in your lap, all of which have been blessings. I hope you will enjoy this next phase of your life. You will be sorely missed, but you are off to learn and grow in unimaginable ways. Be happy.
Posts: 5879 | Registered: Apr 2001
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Wow! great landmark, Josh! (and now I know why you go by Zevlag!)
It was really great meeting you and getting to know you a little bit at KamaCon. You will do well on your mission -- but I will miss that you can't touch base with us here during that time. I hope you keep a Journal or something to share with all of us after your mission is over.
I had no idea there were many Chinese people in Australia. (that you would have to learn the language to mission in Australia). So you have taught me something new already.
Best wishes to you -- and we hope to hear back from you in two years.
Zevvy, I'm so incredibly proud of you. I can't believe you just barely turned nineteen - your life is impressive for someone ten years older. You're amazing.
And you are going to LOVE your mission. And you're going to Australia! Speaking Mandarin! Wow!!
This is so very true.
quote:I care about people, I really do. When I ask someone how they are doing, I really want to know, I like to do what i can to help. To help others feel more comfortable. It's not easy to offend me or upset me, if you do, well, the feelings don't last long. I don't hold grudges. Forgiveness comes quickly.
I've benefitted from your kindness and compassion and friend-ness so many times. *hug* Thanks for everything Zevvy. I'm grateful and very proud.
Can I now brag about sharing a hotel room with you?
Josh, you are one of the very first jatraqueros I met in real life. Because of you, I knew that I finally had found "home". I hope you know what a treasure you are, to Hatrack and to the world.
Posts: 3141 | Registered: Apr 2000
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Zev, it has been an honor to know you over the past number of years. You've always been a favorite of mine, ever since that first Mafia game where we teamed up and took all. You're a man of honor.
Congratulations on your life-landmark, and I know that you won't have *any* trouble meeting your "before I'm 30" goal. It wouldn't surprise me at all if you meet it a few years early.
Posts: 5948 | Registered: Jun 2001
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