Mozilla

7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me

January 21st, 2009

The rules:

  1. Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
  2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

I was tagged by Tristan Nitot and Robert Kaiser.

1. My last year of High School was at the Oakland Public Zoo, along with 30 other students and 1 teacher, housed in a single room near the admission gate. The school had nothing particular to do with animals or zoos. It was a short-lived (one year, actually) experiment in educational alternatives amidst the general decline of Oakland public schools. Some 20 or so of my closer friends found a way to avoid the last year of regular high school (student body of 2500) and still graduate; the Oakland Zoo School was my escape route.

2. I headed off to study at Peking University based on a single telegram I never saw (this was before the World Wide Web) from the chancellor of Peking University to the Chancellor of U.C. Berkeley which — I was told — said “W.M. Baker welcome to study at Peking University for one year starting February.” I was in Taiwan at the time, a copy of the telegram was mailed by U.C. Berkeley to my parents’ address and my mom read it to me over the phone during a hurried collect call.

3. My first computer was actually a set of keys to a friend’s office where his 8 inch disk CP/M machine lay unused.

4. I graduated from U.C. Berkeley (undergraduate population 20,000) in an undergraduate degree program that was so small it had no graduation ceremony. That degree is in Asian Studies, which encompassed China, Japan and “South Asia.” The Oriental Languages Department took pity on us and asked the handful of us graduating to join their ceremony. That was an experience for my parents since all of the speeches were in either Chinese or Japanese.

5. I started my first law firm job a week late so I could finish anti-rabies treatment in Katmandu, after being bitten by a dog in Samye, Tibet. I started by last law firm job 5 weeks late so I could recover from what had been hard-to-diagnose malaria picked up on some small islands off of Lambok, Indonesia.

6. My first few weeks as a Netscape employee (fall of 1994) were so tumultuous that I thought I was likely to be thrown out. Fortunately Jim Barksdale’s arrival as CEO calmed the setting.

7. I joined Mozilla knowing full well that it was a very bad career choice, giving up a likely VP level role in a then-very-successful organization for a funky role in a unknown and precarious project.

I tag:

  • My husband Casey Dunn, one of Mozilla’s great anonymous contributors, who I know still has some secrets hidden away :-)
  • Bob Sutton, whose thinking is both broad and extremely relevant to Mozilla
  • Karim Lakani, because his tweets don’t yet capture quite the same power as his blog
  • Joi Ito, whose life is so online he’ll have to dig deep for new factoids
  • Danese Cooper, who knows more about various open source projects than almost anyone
  • Jonathan Zittrain (who may tag less than 7 people), who is a font of creative thinking about our online lives
  • a whole set of mozilla people who have already been tagged
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