(Well, to be fair, one of my former professors insists that "flunking" would have required more effort than I put in.)
I then joined the U.S. Army as an Air Traffic Controller, spent a couple years in Korea where I taught English to Korean university students, then came back to the United States where I met my husband. When he finally got out of the Army (after being in what I now like to call "Gulf War I"), we moved back to the town where I'd grown up, and I got work as a casino lounge singer (yes, really!). That proved to be frustrating (casino managers don't like you to entertain people so much that it draws them away from the slots and gaming tables), so after about a year, I gave it up and worked as a resume writer and self-marketing consultant, teaching people how to market themselves for the jobs they wanted. After a year of that, I did some freelance writing for the local newspaper's Home Computing section, and had a couple of pieces published in Internet World and Newsweek magazines. About this time, I went to work for the University, and used my Army GI Bill money to go back to college with the intention of not flunking this time. This brings us up to where Scripts for Educators came from!
It all started way back in 1996. At the time, I was working for the Mathematics Center at the University of Nevada, Reno, while working on my Master's degree in Linguistics. (As a side note, about half of the Linguistics professors retired either right before or right after I graduated. I hope it wasn't my fault! :-)) At the time, there was a possibility that we could get grant funding to put a class online on the Internet. Since I was already working on some of the University's web pages, I thought it would be a great idea to apply for that funding. My father was a math professor there, so it was a great fit: he could write the material, and I could do all the web stuff. No problem!
The Math Center graciously allocated travel money for me to attend a workshop called "Communicating Mathematics with Hypertext" at the Geometry Center at the University of Minnesota, so I went, and this was my first real experience with Perl and CGI. Still, one workshop does not make anyone a programmer, least of all me! I came back all fired up to begin working on this online course, but when I started looking around, I couldn't find very many CGI programs that we could use. They were all "site search" this, and "web counter" that: nice web toys, but nothing of any real educational use. So I figured that if I wanted to have online quizzes, vocabulary lookup, homework submission, and other such things, I'd have to write them myself -- somehow!
I started with a simple email script: all it would do was send an email from what the user entered into the form. It took me a couple of weeks to even do that -- remember, I had no previous experience or education in programming. It was very frustrating, but the feeling I got when I made that first script run was incredible! I felt like I was on top of the world! I took that email script, and made it do other things, like saving stuff to a file, and reading stuff out of a file, and I had my vocabulary lookup program (VocabSearch). I started playing with a simple quiz script I found, and eventually had QuizTest.
This was really early in the history of the widespread use of the Internet -- not the Internet itself, mind you, which had been around for a long time -- but in the adoption of the Internet by a lot of commercial and educational organizations. It was a real community, and I decided to make these scripts available back then so that the next Kristina who came along and wanted to put a course online would have some of the resources to do so. It's always been very important to me to write good instructions for setting up and using the scripts as well. I remember how difficult it was for me when I started: there never seemed to be any good instructions! I've tried very hard to pay as much attention to the documentation as to the code -- remember: I don't have a programming background. Sometimes the instructions have to remind me what I was trying to do! :-)
So far, it's been interesting! Scripts for Educators went online with about 4 scripts: an email form script, QuizTest, VocabSearch, and MakeMath (not available anymore -- it is really childish code and embarasses me. :-)). It's now grown to over 20 scripts, many pages of documentation and instructions, and all sorts of stuff.
What do I get out of it? Well, Once in awhile, someone says "Thanks". Just, "Thanks." Once in a really long while (oh, maybe once every few months or so) someone will contribute 5 or 10 dollars, and that helps me pay the web hosting fees. Someday, I hope that the contributions and sales of the scripts will pay my hosting fees for real, but not yet. Still, I'm patient, and I like writing these scripts.
In addition to all this, I work as a CGI Programmer and Systems Administrator, as well as occasionally performing in community theater productions and other such stuff. So, that's a little about Kristina. :-)