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  • Free-Ed.Net isn't a company; it a product that is copyrighted and owned by a small limited-liability corporation.

  • Free-Ed.Net does not have deep-pocket financial support; it is fully supported by quality advertising.

  • Free-Ed.Net was launched and has been continuously active since June, 1997.

  • Free-Ed.Net does not occupy an office or commercial space; it is located in a spare bedroom of a private home.

  • Free-Ed.Net does not maintain a staff of employees or volunteers; it is entirely the work of a single individual.

  • Free-Ed.Net is not the result of youthful passion and creativity; it is the work of a tireless septuagenarian.

  • Free-Ed.Net does not have an advisory panel or a board of directors; one person makes all the decisions and sets the standards.

All of the other About pages are about the site ... and rightly so. But this page is just about me, David L Heiserman. There is a reason for creating this page ... a reason that is far more significant that simply stroking my own ego. I am living proof of what anyone can achieve, given the passion and the tools for the task.

One of the real advantage of being "retired" is that I have so much more time for meaningful work. But here is how I spent my time before really going to workbefore my preparation bonded with an unimaginable opportunity.

I graduated from high school, and served six years in the pre-Vietnam-Era Navy.

Then it was off to The Ohio State University, bouncing between majors in physics, psychology, Russian, and marine biology. I flunked out twice, and never managed to graduate. But I have some graduate-level credit in pharmacology. Go figure.

I taught basic electronics (learned in Navy schools), and soon moved up to teaching electronics and math at community colleges. How does one with no degree manage to teach technical math at private and state-supported colleges?  Answer: Get a waiver for teaching critical subjects where there is a shortage of credentialed professors.

I did a lot of freelance writing during during the 70s and 80s. My my credits include 34 nonfiction books, a hundred-and-some articles for popular newsstand magazines, and three metropolitan newspaper columns. Google my name, and you will see a lot of the stuff I wrote in those days. My book on chemical elements is still in print, and it is cited in a number of other publications and websites. Do a search for my name on Wikipedia, and you will see my book referenced dozens of times. Funny thing about that chemistry book ... I slept through two semesters of college chemistry...even trying to stay awake by sitting in the front row.

Speaking of sleeping through chemistry class, I once took an ill-advised shot at starting and running a technical consulting firm. It went belly-up, but only after receiving an National Science Foundation research grant for developing very small robotic grippers from a new piezoelectric polymer. I got two US patents for the work, but the consulting company was a bust.

The contract that initially paid for the consulting business was a hobby robot company in Colorado. I had designed, built, and written a series of books about building personal robots. The robot company had taken my basic design concepts and reworked them for a commercial product. This was back in the 70s when responsible engineers and college profs still regarded robots as nonsense. Google my name and keyword robot, and you will see some of the nice things people are still saying about my work in those days.

Back then, I was really having fun (and making a bit of money) from writing on topics that would inspire others to do things they never thought they could. I tried to sell a couple of publishers on a book called, "How to Teach Yourself Anything You Need to Know."  I guess the title was too long for them. It was "preparation waiting for opportunity."

Writing was fun, but not paying enough to live on. I abandoned teaching because I was getting weary of trying to teach differential equations to engineering students who couldn't do a simple trig proof.

And this is how and when I got into textbook publishing. I worked as an independent contractor for two major education publishing houses (ok, so they were McGraw-Hill and Prentice-Hall). I was an independent contractor, spending most of my time creating those little discs that used to be attached inside the back covers. They were called product ancillaries in those days. And, yes, I had taught myself computer programming and used that know-how for creating programs and files for those discs. But then the Web came along, and the discs in the back of the book became obsolete in favor of the companion websites. No problem, I'll just taught myself web scripting. Wham! Twenty years of preparation came in contact with opportunity, and Free-Ed.Net was born.

I promised you earlier that this isn't just ordinary bragging. There is a point and a purpose.

When items in Free-Ed.Net speak of "passion," they come from someone who knows what it really is and what it feels like. You can be confident that when I recommend you try something with this issue of "finding your passion," I know what I'm talking about. I'm not parroting or paraphrasing something  from career-counselor publication or a YouTube video. My body of work testifies to my understanding of the subject.

Of course you are not going to practice medicine or law, or design bridges without the proper education and certification. But there is a whole universe of other things out there you can do without the credentials that are traditionally associated with the activities. I taught college math, but never graduated, myself. I contributed items to major textbooks without ever taking a methods course in education (or a course in nonfiction writing, for that matter). So when you find items in Free-Ed.Net that encourage you to do things beyond ordinary limitations ... heed to the advice! (By the way, you can still make significant contributions to medicine, law, and engineering without actually doing the things that require credentials).

People so often complain they can't get the kind of job they need or want because they don't have the right kind of experience. Phooey! Opportunities for building some serious experience are scattered all over the place, like poo in doggie kennel. Long ago, I learned there is a huge difference between perfecting a skill and building a body of valuable experience. You can teach a monkey to blow a whistle (a skill), but that doesn't make him a musician (experience required). Skill is what you do. Experience is what you are. Anything you can do to cultivate the impact that experience has upon your inner self is worth the effort. And that includes using virtual worlds for cultivating real experiences. I know. I've done it. You should,  too.

If you are getting this, you are probably getting anxious to get out of here and onto some Free-Ed.Net projects. If you aren't getting it, you are getting impatient and want to find something that makes more sense to do with your valuable time.

Look for that place where your preparation meets an opportunity
If you aren't working at it, you won't be ready. If you are distracted by tradition and myth, you won't see it.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015