Arthur Pope is my real name. I frequently go by spartanbard online.
My MBTI personality type is INTJ.
I was born in 1987.
I was born with congenital optic neuropathy, which impairs my vision to the point that I am unable to drive a motor vehicle of any kind. I knew I would never drive years before I was of age. My mother has never driven either, for the same reason. Her father had to memorize the eye chart for his vision test to join the military.
As a child, I loved listening to music, singing, playing in the woods with my friends, taking things apart, putting them back together, drawing mazes, building club houses, climbing trees, playing video games, using walkie talkies, camping, fishing, learning from my dad at his bedroom electronics repair and HAM radio workbench, playing with my Radio Shack Electronics Learning Lab, Tinker Toys, Legos, Micro Machines, and K'Nex, and collecting locks, keys, key chains, tools, pogs, pocket knives, coins, coin banks, fossils, and Pokémon cards.
I can't remember which video game I played first, but it was definitely one of these, and I was definitely three or younger: QBASIC Gorillas (DOS), Prince of Persia (DOS), Lemmings (DOS), Super Mario Brothers (NES), Duck Hunt (NES), Tetris (NES), Munch Man (TI-99/4A), or Donkey Kong (TI-99/4A)
There were always computers in my parent's home. I used DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, and Windows 98 on our family computers.
I decided to be baptized into Christ when I was about 6. My father baptized me.
I asked my mother to record Bill Nye the Science Guy for me every day while I was in 3rd grade so I could watch it when I got home from school.
At the end of my 6th grade year, I was voted most likely to become a preacher.
I used the Internet for the first time when I was 10 or 11, when our family got dial-up.
I made a bullshit website on Homestead about Pokémon shortly after. I also tried Angelfire and Geocities, but they were too complicated for me at the time. Man I loved those early days. Lycos was my favorite search engine.
What My Age Again by Blink 182 was the first mp3 I downloaded. This was before Napster existed.
My father gave me my first computer when I was 12 or 13, which I was free to use as I pleased. It was some AST 386 all-in-one. After he saw me using MS Paint to design some characters and outline their backstories for an RPG a friend of mine claimed he was making, my dad quickly set me up with better hardware.
I learned how to use computers mostly by breaking the operating system, and my dad reloading it for me many times. I loved learning how to hack and tweak Windows. Shit like changing the startup splash animation and creating my own icon images.
In 8th or 9th grade, I was one of the five young people in my church who attended our first youth group meeting with our first full-time youth minister. The five of us with our youth minister created our mission statement and ministry goals, decided the name of our ministry, and chose our weekly meeting time.
I had my first vocal solo in choir in either Junior High, or my Freshman year of High School. The first large audience I sang in front of was my entire High School of during an assembly my Freshman year. I was always quiet at school, and mostly kept to myself, so the reaction from my peers to filling the gymnasium with my voice during that particular choir solo was pretty damn great.
In my early teenage years, I learned how to use a mixing board, and began being put on rotation for setting up the stage, and running the sound for Sunday morning worship services.
I was probably 15 when I started learning HTML and CSS at htmldog.com and w3schools.com. I started coding a website for my church's youth group from scratch shortly after.
I hated Internet Explorer 6 so much.
I started teaching myself guitar when I was 15, and wrote my first real song that year. I wrote it for an English class. I turned in the lyrics to Power of One as a poem. I got an 85%, if I remember correctly. If I had had a tape recorder, I certainly would have aced that bitch.
When I was 15, I decided on a lark to audition for our school musical. I got a choir role in Guys and Dolls. The following semester, the drama teacher encouraged me to take her acting class. Because I had been in a musical, I was able to skip the prerequisite course Interpersonal Communications, which I had signed up for because I needed the credit, and holy god damn fuck, taking that class was a decision that shaped my life for the better in a way I never expected it to. I took to acting strongly in my Sophomore and Junior years. I was forced to come out of my shell, and learn to be comfortable in front of people, and being noticed. I loved doing improv. The following year, I was cast as two sub-leads in the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. I had two major scenes, and a duet with a classmate who has become a good friend of mine over the years. We performed the musical four nights in our kick ass theater. While it was a High School musical, I have to say that many of the students I worked with were very talented, and I learned a lot from them. It was nerve-racking and incredible. I did not pursue acting any further, but it is something I would certainly consider doing again.
In my teenage years, I began leading worship at youth group and Sunday morning service frequently. Our worship band occasionally lead worship for chapel and events at Saint Louis Christian College, where I would later attend.
I graduated from High School a semester early, because I hate school.
I also hate western music theory, and try to forget everything I was taught about it in High School and college.
I attended Saint Louis Christian College for three semesters. I was double-majoring in Bible and Music and Worship Ministry. My first semester, I was asked to be the lead singer for a one-off worship band put together by my incredibly talented musician dormmates who lived across the hall from me. We opened for Slingshot 57, a Christian rock band doing a show at SLCC. Like my first solo in High School, this was my Freshman year at college, and hardly anyone had heard me sing before I walked up to the mic. I was the unassuming quite guy that people thought was nice. We upstaged Slingshot 57 hard.
I was a part of the chapel planning committee my first semester. By the end of my time at bible college, I became the most frequent and requested sound technician for chapel services and band practices. I lead chapel worship a few times. I frequently lead worship at many churches in our travelling ensemble.
After my third semester, I dropped out to pursue a career as a recording artist in the Christian music industry.
For the next couple years, I worked a few day jobs. If I was in my home town, I planned and lead worship for youth group services. I wrote a lot of music. I played at coffee shops in St. Louis, and a few other venues. I recorded a demo quality album. I busked on the Delmar Loop.
In December 2009, I began working in the electronics recycling industry doing resale.
I walked away from religion in early 2010, when I was 22, consequently losing nearly every friend I had. Most of my friends were from church, or bible college. I had little left in common with them any longer.
I was introduced to a better community of friends through one of my oldest, scientifically minded, and non-theist friends.
I stopped writing music for the most part, and focused all of my creative energy on my budding career in recycling.
The company I work for had no website. I told my boss I could make them one. He said jokingly that he expected me to have it done by the time he got back from lunch. So I did. When he saw it he was shocked, and told me to keep working on it for the rest of the week. I worked my ass off in resale, and was asked to manage during my first year. In the last four years, I have worn hats of web developer, manager, market researcher, systems developer, administrator, IT consultant, shipping coordinator, security specialist, strategist, programmer, interface designer, motivational speaker, writer, trainer, treasure detective, and time lord.
Gulden Draak is my favorite beer.
Incubus is my favorite band.
Colin Meloy is my favorite songwriter.
Shara Worden is my favorite vocalist.
Edward Norton is my favorite actor.
I hate shoes.
I hate drama.
I love chiptunes.
I still love climbing trees.