about me

I’m Peter and I teach high school Technology and Economics. I work with my spouse at an international school in Taiwan. My son is a third culture kid who I love very much. I support Diaspora and now post there as petrock. I’m still a twit on Twitter but managed to give up Facebook – though it wasn’t easy.

I taught in Cameroon, Lebanon, Canada and Egypt. Before that, I studied education at the University of Alberta, majoring in drama and minoring in social studies. I enjoyed my directing classes very much and succeeded in my acting and improvisation classes. So at the very least, perhaps I can act like I know how to teach. :)

My interest in computer technology started as a child and included assembling an Apple II computer with my father after buying the bare motherboard, chips and soldering iron. Dad and I typed in source code from magazines like Byte. We would often play with source code by changing it to make programs behave differently. The TRS-80 was the first desktop computer I learned to use and I don’t miss spending hours each day to load programs from cassette tapes. As a teen, I spent time on local BBSs until university life when the World Wide Web had gone mainstream.

I don’t subscribe to a particular religion or hold any supernatural beliefs but support the right to do so. If I have to identify with anything I’d probably describe myself as a humanist. I support free speech rights. To organize and express one’s beliefs is related to speech – and I think the right to speak freely is an important freedom. So long as you are not threatening harm upon another, I stand for your right to speak and organize even if I don’t agree with your religious beliefs or political ambitions.

I describe my politics as “civil libertarian” (which is not to be confused with “libertarian”). I’m not a member of any political party but sometimes support organizations that defend civil liberties.

I’m OK at several sports but don’t excel at any particular one. I do enjoy rolling with good company. I enjoy puzzles and logic games and I’m fond of chess.

Free Software

At the turn of the century, I discovered GNU/Linux (I blame this guy) and have come to agree with many that Free software is desirable for all members of society. I’m fortunate enough to be a contributing member of the Free Software Foundation. Though I’m not a strong public speaker, I have given talks to fellow educators on Free software in education and think that it, in contrast to most proprietary software, better aligns itself with core educational values (e.g. freedom of inquiry, community, sharing, cooperation, collaboration, trust). I want free software to continue to grow and be useful for all computer users, non-techies included.

This Site’s Name

Credit to Austin M., a high school student of mine in a class around 2004. He blurted “GNUosphere!” out as the class discussed the Internet, noosphere, and the GNU Project. It sounded catchy so I adopted it. The original GNUosphere can be found here.


3 Responses to “about me”

  1. Brian Says:

    Thanks for following me on twitter. Looking forward to your blog posts and tweets.

  2. Tracy Rosen Says:

    Glad I found you via @damian613.
    I also am an advocate for free and open software in education.

    Looking forward to reading your thoughts here.


  3. minhaaj Says:

    Nice to see a FOSS supporter

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