- What did you do last night?
I watched the World Cup soccer match between Germany and Argentina. I watched until the end of 90-minute regular time. The score was 1-1. Eventually, Germany won by the penalty kick. Unfortunately, Team USA did not make the second round. I was disappointed.
- What do you usually eat for breakfast?
Toast, and pastries (not very healthy!)
- How many hours a night do you sleep?
5- 6 hours but I normally try to sleep up to 7 hours on Saturday night.
- What is your favorite hour of the day/night and why is it your favorite?
I enjoy being at home in the early evening. This is because I can spend quality time with two children and my wife. I can leave other responsibilities behind.
This has always been my home.
- Do you like living there? Explain.
Yes, I do (except when the traffic is heavy). It has everything that one needs.
- What did you do in the years right after high school?
I pursued my undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering at Texas Tech University (Lubbock, Texas) and completed the study in Spring 1989. Then, I spent 6 months in Thailand as a trainee at the Office of the Economic and Social Development Board for planning and coordination. I began my master-degree study at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Virginia) in the area of Industrial and Systems Engineering in Jan. 1990 and continued my doctoral work in Jan. 1992. I received my Ph.D. degree in May 1995 and returned to Thailand.
I went back to FHS to see Mr. Norwood in 1994. I also met Mark Allison in Washington DC (he studied Laws at American University, Washington DC) during 1993-95. We played tennis in DC and felt funny since we also played a lot of tennis in Bakersfield. We drove together to New York when I shipped my belongings back to Thailand. He came to Thailand for my wedding in 1998 as well. Now, he is living in New York and just received a promotion to be a partner in a very well- known law firm. Since both of our children are very young, we have not kept in touch as often that we would like.
- Tell us about your family? Kids? Spouses? Lovers? Partners? Divorces?
I got married in March 1998. Our first baby girl was born in July 2002. Our second baby boy was born in September 2004. My wife and I have known each other since late 1990. She got her bachelor and master degrees from American University. We are lucky to have them.
- Do you have a job outside of your home?
Yes, I do. I am a public official (university lecturer) at Department of Industrial Engineering, Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand. My title now is Associate Professor. I have been doing many consulting work for public organizations, public utilities, and private firms. I am also a visiting professor at University of Vaasa, Finland.
Yes, I do, very much. It is flexible. I can take time off when needed. When children are young and tend to get sick easily, this is probably the only job that allows me to look after them constantly. My wife, working at an international bank, is not so fortunate. The other reason is that I have been given a lot of opportunities to travel abroad for conferences and/or lecture assignments. Since I came back to Thailand in 1995, I have traveled to the U.S., Australia, Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, India, Sweden, Finland, Austria, and Italy.
- Is it the job you thought you would have when you were back in High School and you contemplated the future?
Not really. I knew that I would very much like to work in the public sector but did not have any specific idea about working for a public university. In Thailand, it is good tradition for some families. I also think serving the public on behalf of the King is an honor thing to do.
- If you could have any job in the world what would it be?
This is a good question. I have not really thought about this issue too often. It could be a full-time dad for my two children. But then, who is going to pay for my work!
- What was your happiest day last year?
I really don’t know since everyday that I spent time with the family (including my mother) was my happy moment.
- What is your biggest regret from the last 20 years?
There are a few but within the context of FHS, I would have to say that I have not kept in touch with a few friends whom I had very good memories such as Scott Blackledge, Charlie Haycock, and Roddy Rizo. On the contrary, I am glad that Mark Allison and I are still communicating.
- Do you miss high school? What things do you miss about it?
Not really. I sometimes miss the feeling of some of the silly things we did together. I guess the feeling that we were younger. You can ask Charlie for more details, especially during our senior year.
- What is one of your favorite memories from high school?
This question is a good one. I have to spend quite a few minutes going back twenty years! I remember that our FHS basketball was doing well. We traveled to watch the team played outside Bakersfield a few times. I still remember when the team won at Tulare (I hope I spell the name correctly), I felt very good and was excited. Unfortunately, we lost our next match.
- What is one of your worst memories from high school?
I don’t want to be too deep on this one. However, when each one of us had to go separately after the graduation, I knew I did not have good feeling. However, I don’t know whether this can be classified as the worst memory.
- Who were your best friends in high school?
I often went out with Mark Allison, Charlie Haycock, Roddy Rizo, and Scott Blackledge. I still value the friendship that was established with them. They really helped me get through the English barrier. I have always appreciated their sincerity toward me. I hope they feel the same way.
- Have you kept in touch with them?
Unfortunately, only Mark Allison. Last time, I saw Charlie was when I came from Texas to attend his wedding with Christy. It was a good match since they are wonderful people. At their wedding, I also last talked to Roddy. I last saw Scott Blackledge in Tempe (during his study at Arizona State University) in 1988. The last time I talked to Scott was in May 1989 when I drove back from Lubbock to Bakersfield after I completed my undergraduate study. I was supposed to stay at his apartment for one night. However, I left Lubbock later than I had planned and did not arrive in Tempe until midnight. So, I decided to press ahead without stopping. I knew he planned to work in Sacramento for a Democrat elected official (although I would prefer to see him working for a Republican—probably due to the influence from having stayed in Lubbock). Then, I went back to Thailand for 6 and lost the contact with him since. He has a good heart (so he should work for a Republican!), and has been consistent and considerate.
- How is your life different than the life you thought you would have after high school?
I have to be honest with you. I did not think too much about the life and the career when I was in high school (except to complete the educational degrees and to eventually return to Thailand).
- Who was your favorite teacher?
There were a few. Mr. Reese (our tennis coach). Mr. Olds (our drawing teacher—hopefully I spelled his last name correctly). Mr. Norwood (our senior advisor). Mr. Heather (our math instructor—although I heard he passed away a few years after we all left FHS). However, I would like to say that all teachers at FHS were very good and generous. They helped me form the positive image about Americans that still exists in me today.
- What was the biggest life lesson you learned in high school?
Enjoy the time and don’t be too serious about everything. In general, I really enjoyed my time in the U.S. What has impressed me the most is that a lot of people that I had interacted (throughout my ten years in America from FHS to Virginia Tech) believe in God, Family, and Country. The strength of religious belief is so unbelievable in the U.S. When I traveled to Europe, I often visited the churches. There were very few regulars and most were not very young. In my opinion, money and technology alone cannot help make a country powerful and strong. The U.S. is a living proof! I always use this as an example when I lecture to students.
- Who was your favorite pop music band in high school?
I was not into the music that much. Nevertheless, if I have to choose one, I will use Charlie’s answer. We listened to that song a lot (although I hardly understood the words in the song or its name).
- Why do you want to attend a high school reunion?
I would like to see how each of us has been doing. I am sure we only bring good memories and laugh to this special occasion. At the very least, that’s a good way to reduce stress.
- Why do you NOT want to attend a high school reunion?
I cannot really think of one.
- Are you nervous about attending your high school reunion? Explain.
I don’t think so.
- Do you like answering these questions?
Yes, I do. I have not given too much time and thought on FHS for a very long time— 20 years to be exact. This has helped me refresh a lot of good memories. Where do you get these questions?
- Do you have any tattoos? What are they?
No, I don’t.
- What is your favorite food?
I do enjoying eating American foods. Chicken fried steak with heavy gravy on top is my favorite one. Virginia ham with a lot of applesauce and mustard would be great too. I was in Seattle last year in November (2005) for a meeting with a consultant and an author of a very good book (High Impact Middle Management—I would like to recommend it to everybody) on behalf of the Office of Public Sector Development Commission (Office of the Prime Minister). The waitress at the hotel was surprised when I strongly insisted on having a chicken fried steak dish! I simply told her that it was my first day in the U.S. for the trip. Seafood could wait.
- Are your parents still alive? How are they doing?
No, they are not. My father passed away when I was 6 years old. On the other hand, my mother is doing well. She is enjoying herself and has traveled abroad very often. She is still healthy and hopefully stay with us forever.
- Are you happy with the way you look these days? Please explain.
Not really, I am concerned about my weight. In fact, I am beginning to worry about my health. With two children, I want to live as long as I can!
- If you won the lottery what would you do with the money?
I don’t know the answer to this one. I have never bought a lottery, except for charity. Donations for medical research and for scholarships (especially for the children of American soldiers who died during the past a few years for protecting the world peace) probably come across my mind.
- Are you religious? Spiritual? Agnostic? Is there a God?
Yes, I am. However, I am not a Christian so I cannot say anything about God.
I mainly watch the news. I have about 30 minutes a day for TV since I like to spend time with the children. I wish we could have Fox News in Thailand. Sometimes, I am very upset to listen to negative images about the U.S. from CNN, CNBC, and BBC—a British news channel (my friend refers to as Bush Bashing Channel). There are a lot of good things about the U.S. but they only report the very negative side. I believe that, fundamentally, Americans are good. The reporters and news presenters really don’t like President Bush and seem to take this feeling personally (although I am sure they don’t know him in person). I wish all of you could watch CNN International and see how terrible and unprofessional it is!
- What are your all-time favorite movies?
I have a few but always enjoyed Forrest Gump and James Bonds’ movies.
- In what ways have you changed the most from high school?
In high school, we were not bound by many rules and expectations. Now, due to the responsibilities at work and at home, I tend to be more rule- conscious.
- In what ways are you the same from high school?
I have tried to laugh as often as possible.
- Tell us about three of your happiest experiences since leaving high school.
The first one is that I got married and became a father of two children. The second one is for all the trips we have made together as a family. The third one is that both Virginia Tech and Texas Tech have become major players in college football.
- What do you like most about yourself?
This is probably the most difficult question in the list. If I have to be specific, I have to say I like being a conservative (in the same sense as in the U.S.). This is because I don’t have to pretend to be articulate and sophisticated.
- What would you most like to change?
I still can get upset quite easily. I like to change this habit but it is difficult. It caused me to lose a tennis playoff match during my senior year at FHS.
- Do you talk on your cellphone while driving?
Yes, I do. However, it is not so often. I also try to make each call very brief.
- Tell us something that very few people know about you.
Being a conservative is what very few people know about me.
- What would you like to happen at the reunion? What would leave you satisfied? What do you NOT want to happen at the reunion?
I think by being there and seeing friends are more than enough. Maybe, you could ask each of us to bring old photos so that we can be young for a brief period again (from the emotion point of view, of course).
- Did you enjoy answering these questions?
Yes, I did.
- Tell us something interesting about yourself that wasn't covered in the above questions.
When I tell people that I have lived in Bakersfield (CA), Lubbock (TX), and Blacksburg (VA), they feel very bad for me. However, I do like Bakersfield and the other two places a lot. I really like to have an opportunity to stay in Bakersfield and raise a family. It is a wonderful city with good people. My aunt and uncle, whom I have looked up my “second” parents, are there as well. They are medical doctors.