Editor’s Note: Ever wonder who is taking Saylor.org courses? In interviews, presentations, and conversations, we’ve hinted at some of the profiles of Saylor.org students – which includes thousands of individuals from a variety of backgrounds – but we’ve never introduced our readers to any of them. That is, not until now. This blog post kicks off a new series on The Saylor Journals – Saylor Student Profiles. We’d like to thank Christopher G. for being our first feature! If you’re a Saylor.org student and you’d like to be featured in this series, please drop me a line at [email protected]


Saylor: Christopher, thanks for allowing us to feature you in a student profile. Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

I’m located in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia named Kennesaw which lies northwest of Atlanta. I’m 49 years old. I’ve enjoyed a career in Information Technology since 1984. I started as a computer operator with an accounting firm on an NCR mainframe, then eventually moved into COBOL programming where I learned programming on the job and in school. When desktop PCs started to become the standard office business machine, replacing large scale mainframes, I quickly involved myself in DOS, and Assembly Language programming to branch out my skills a little. I enjoyed a satisfying career working with PCs and all the emerging technologies that came with it — getting ‘online’ with CompuServe was the thing to do back in that day. I later went to work for Emory University Hospital utilizing these skill sets.

In 1995, when the World Wide Web made its debut to the public at large, my career plans changed and I began teaching myself HTML and later on, JavaScript and CSS. In 2000 I went to work for BellSouth Telecommunications as a Web Developer. I worked for a small division called, Interconnection Services. At this time, my pursuits in the Web turned to relational databases. My work at BellSouth involved transforming a static HTML Web site into a dynamic, database driven site. In mid 2006 I took hiatus and returned to the work force in January 2009 for Coca-Cola in Atlanta, GA. My current title is Database Specialist.

Saylor: Can you tell us a little bit about your personal life and interests?

My interests include all things Apple. MacBook, iPhone, iPad, iCloud; my family: wife, daughter and a pug; music and movies; Renaissance Festival and DragonCon when I get the chance to go.

Saylor: How did you discover Saylor.org?

I discovered Saylor.org via another Web site I was perusing in early June of this year. The reason it caught my eye is because a complete college education seemed always out of reach for me. The traditional classroom setting bored me senseless and I barely managed to graduate High School. Not everyone learns at the same pace in the same way on the same day — we’re all so different. Not only that, but I had always thought that education to any level should be free for everyone all over the world. (On a side note, when I made a trip to Germany way back in 1993, I was pleasantly astonished to learn that education was paid for by the state. All that I had previously accomplished were periodic stints taking subjects 2 or 3 at a time at the local community college). There are just some things, things essential to life, that should not incur a fee or a tax. The quality of all things becomes debased when a monetary value is placed on them.

Saylor: What prompted you to begin working on courses at Saylor.org?

I decided to study at Saylor not only because the courses are free, but because the courses are designed by actual University Professors as an authentic curriculum of higher learning — at the University level — for free, what the world’s been waiting for.

Saylor: Which subject areas have you been spending time with on Saylor.org?

At Saylor.org I’m studying, in my own time, Psychology, Mathematics and Computer Science as these are the disciplines that interest me the most since these work the mind in logical, critical and creative thinking.

Saylor: Once you’ve finished your coursework here, what are your plans?

It will take a few years for me to complete what I’ve endeavored to pursue at Saylor.org, but once done — I’ll do more of course. An education is never finished — it’s lifelong.

Saylor: Christopher, thanks again for sharing all of this with us. Best of luck with your studies!

Thanks for the opportunity. Hope to see you at DragonCon!