The Best About Me Page You’ll Ever See
I simply don’t believe you will find a better About Me page than the one found here.
The page belongs to Aaron Iba, the now former CEO of AppJet, the company who created EtherPad. Iba’s product was acquired by Google for a reported $10 million, and I would imagine he is quite happy with the entire experience. Work hard to create a product people love, get recognized for your work, and then reap the benefits of the risks and chances you’ve taken to produce something of value for the world.
Had I not read his About Me page, I would have assumed Iba had a successful experience in school. I likely would have assumed he was what many consider a model, high-performing student. I should have learned by now not to make such assumptions.
While I do not know his full story, I do know what he chose to share with us. That at some point, someone, quite possibly a teacher, felt that Iba didn’t fit in with the other students and needed help. I wonder who it was that really needed the help, Iba or the system? It seems yet another example of how students who don’t fit the system are given no shortage of extra attention and energy in an attempt to get them to reshape and resize so they will fit into the containers we’re building for them. Sometimes, I fear we forget that we should be building the containers around the students, not trying to build students who fit our containers.
It brings to mind the story Sir Ken Robinson tells of Gillian Lynne. The educational world found Gillian an underachieving student who couldn’t sit still and focus. She was underperforming in the container they had built for her. When Gillian went to get evaluated because of her “issues,” she was found to have a most curious set of skills that didn’t fit well in the educational system. She had energy and creativity, and she was born to dance.
I don’t know Aaron Iba’s full story. I don’t know what happened outside of the information he shared on his About Me page, or the story outside of his recent success with AppJet. I don’t know if he became a model student within the system later in his educational experience. But I do know that the system didn’t like him early in his education. Someone, somewhere, thought there was something in him that needed fixing. Somehow, I doubt as he continued in his education that he cared much to make himself fit into the mold of what others wanted him to be. I don’t think he would have created something so profoundly creative if he had. The same can be said of Gillian Lynne.
I wonder how many Gillian Lynnes or Aaron Ibas our educational system has stolen from our world. How many have been taken and made into something they were never born to be.
I wonder how many we can steal back.