Years ago, I was torn between two passions. I had loved tinkering with computers and other electronic gadgets since I was as young as 10 (possibly younger!). But I also played the piano, taking lessons with my sisters and playing around with melodies and chords on the keys when I wasn’t practicing my lesson pieces.
That love of music carried into high school. I had stopped playing piano but in music class I picked up the clarinet quite quickly. I transferred to another school after grade 9 because the school I was in was planning to cut their music program entirely and I could not imagine being without it. At my new school, I was blown away when I heard the excellent performances of the senior jazz band and ensembles. I was fiercely determined to play with them but not many modern jazz arrangements called for a clarinet. So I learned to play saxophones.
At the same time, I continued tinkering with computers, teaching myself how to program because I wanted to program video games one day. An exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre featuring the “new” graphical web browsers, Netscape and Mosaic, inspired me to try my own hand at web publishing as soon as we were able to get connected to the Internet. In high school programming classes, I was well ahead of the curve, frequently finishing assignments meant to take hours in a matter of minutes.
And so, when I graduated from high school and decided I wanted to go to university, I had a difficult choice to make: which of these two things would I choose to focus on?
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