Free-Ed.Net isn't a company; it a
product that is copyrighted and owned by a small
Free-Ed.Net does not have deep-pocket
financial support; it is fully supported by quality
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
Free-Ed.Net does not maintain a staff of
employees or volunteers; it is entirely the work of a
Free-Ed.Net is not the result of
youthful passion and creativity; it is the work of a
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 work—before
my preparation bonded with an unimaginable
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
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.
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
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
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
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.