Sometimes it’s easy to say “yes.”
When my long-time friend and mentor Lori Cook introduced me to Christine Feuerstein, the Microsoft sales rep putting together a unique project, committing to earn a commercial driver’s license, drive a converted 70-seat school bus thousands of miles, and travel as a software evangelist to more than 20 cities earned an easy, affirmative response.
My undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan was just a year young. I was running shipping and receiving at a faltering business that leased, sold, and serviced copiers and other business machines. I was ready for a first “real” job and for some adventure, something missing in my day-to-day. This assignment was one of the best things that could have happened to me at the time.
I’m glad I shot photos along the way with my 35mm point-and-shoot camera. More than 20 years later, I finally got around to scanning the photos I could find (I know there are many more than you’ll see here; I wish I could find them) and thought I’d write this up.
Drop a comment at the end with any feedback or questions about the trip – or about a great job you’ve enjoyed!
Preparing To Be a Software Evangelist and Bus Driver
For four or five months, I ramped up for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by teaching elementary-school-aged children basic programming and software
While I was learning patience and developing teaching skills, I was also building such skills as parallel parking a 35-foot-long school bus. I don’t remember the driving tests or licensing process, but it all worked out.
Meanwhile, a clever team was ripping seats out of a school bus, installing a 10-station computer lab that ran off servers in the back, installing an amazing sound system with a marine, multi-disc CD changer, and wrapping the exterior with custom artwork. Many people told me the look reminded them of the Partridge family bus, a reference I didn’t understand but accepted as fair. In hindsight, the Microsoft Discovery Bus looked better than theirs.