Starting from kindergarten, I seemed to have a natural inclination for working with computers. That continued on right through high school when I had to decide where I wanted to go to college and what I wanted to do; like most kids, I really didn’t know what I wanted. I knew that I was good with computers and I'd enjoy computer science. But, what I really wanted was to take a break from the education system and figure out what I wanted long-term. That didn't go over with my parents very well. To be fair, I really did not discuss it with them much; I just got a pretty good impression that I better go to college sooner than later. So I applied to a number of schools and looked at computer science. When I got accepted to University of Virginia, I figured that it was a good enough school (ranked number 1 or 2 public school in the United States on any given year) and did not finish applying other places like Carnegie Mellon. I also felt that the University of Virginia campus was beautiful and that I saved money on it being in state.
Computer science at UVA is in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. So, I went through an engineering program. I can’t say that I enjoyed college a whole lot. I was much too busy studying and staying up all night doing projects. However, it was the right place and time for me to be.
While in Charlottesville, Virginia, I discovered a Tibetan approach to spirituality, Bon and Dzogchen, which currently has one of its primary locations right there, Ligmincha. Getting involved in Ligmincha, influenced me to study the Chinese and Tibetan languages, which it just so happens, UVA has excellent programs for these.