What You Don’t Know (about me) Can’t Hurt You

I got tagged by Naiah, and am pleased to tell you five things that you may not know about me.

1. This is recent. I have just completed the Carnegie Course which is an intense 12 week training course in Human Relations and Effective Communication. At the final class, there was a vote at the end for which student was the best example of the Carnegie Principles. There was about 40 people in the class, and I won the award. I have come to believe that there are similarities between Carnegie principles and Christ-like character. This is the most meaningful award that I have ever received. When the results of the voting were announced I openly wept. I had not entertained any thought that I would win.

2. When I was in the fourth grade I may have been the best athlete my age in town. When I was in ninth grade, I couldn’t make my school sports teams. I had early dreams of being a professional athlete, and had those dreams crushed at a young age, and in an instant. This continues to be a downer on my self esteem.

3. I was voted the most outstanding music student in my high school. I received a small scholarship as the best music/academic student at Madison High School. I turned down a music scholarship to Utah State and went on my mission first. I later decided music was not going to be my career choice. I was a heck of a high school saxophone player.

4. I raised pigeons when I was young. I got the pigeons by sneaking out of the house at 2 in the morning and going to nearby barns and commercial buildings. I did this because at night you can shine a flashlight on a pigeon and it will just sit there. You can then pick it up and put it in a sack. My parents never knew until I told them several years later. It’s 2 a.m., do you know where your kids are?

5. I met my wife at Ricks College, and we got married in Colorado. On our way to the wedding, our car broke down in the middle of Wyoming. We had to hitch-hike to get to our wedding. We then had to return all our wedding gifts to pay for the repairs.

I would now like to tag Bradley, Bookslinger, and Tyler.

6 Responses to “What You Don’t Know (about me) Can’t Hurt You”

  1. 1 Naiah Earhart December 19, 2006 at 3:55 pm

    Bizarre coincidence. Rob and I were *just* chatting on IM about his fairly random desire to raise some pigeons (after hearing someting on a NPR station about their change in stature in our society). How weird is that? Hahaha, it’s 2am; do you know where your *husband* is???

    I think having to return all your wedding presents to fix you car which broke down on your way to the wedding is simultaneously the most romantic and saddest way I’ve ever heard to start a marriage. You make me want to take out a registry for you guys at your next anniversary!

    As for the Carnegie distinction, even just from the little of it that you’ve shared on here, I am not surprised a bit that you were the one voted for. Not. A. Bit.

    Isn’t it funny how the world grows up around us? In 8th grade I was the tallest girl in my gym class. One inch and 17 years later, it seems like everyone is taller than I. What real contribution do atheletes make? I mean, really…

    As for sax–all these years later, do you still practice now and then? The kids and i love it when Rob plays the hymns on his clarinet and we sing along. (For all that I’m a soprano, that slight drop to the clarinet really brings those high notes well within my range, making it a lot more fun to sing!) You should try it!

  2. 2 Bookslinger December 19, 2006 at 6:29 pm

    Ok. 5 things about me, famous people I’ve met.

    1. High school. Track. Spring break we trained at the Univ of Fla at Gainesville. I met famous runner, Marty Liquori in the men’s locker. I actually took a shower in the shower room at the same time as Marty Liquori. (Had to be careful not to say “with” him.)

    2. Freshman year of college, 1975/76, I met Isaac Asimov, who gave a talk at our school.

    3. April 1984, on my way to report to the MTC to start my mission, I met Elder Oaks and Elder McConkie at the St. Louis Missouri airport at the gate, waiting to board a flight to SLC. It was a short layover for me that included a change of planes. I had been set apart and was wearing my suit and black nametag.

    That was before they traveled with bodyguards. Elder Oaks was pleasant. Elder McConkie was gruff and having a bad day. It wasn’t until much later that I found out he was dieing of cancer at the time I met him. I believe that entitles you to have a bad day.

    Like a private in the presence of generals, I sprung to my feet. I approached them and offered to be of any service, to fetch something to drink or eat. Elder Oaks said they were tired from a long day of a stake conference and told me I could just sit down, that he was going to stand because he had been sitting all day. So I went back to my seat.

    A few minutes later a group of college students mobbed them for several minutes, but I remained seated as requested.

    4. I met Elder Oaks again (late 85 or early 86) when he visited our mission in Ecuador.

    5. I’ve never met Naiah, but we went to the same high school! We’ve been in the same classrooms, sat in the same dining hall, and walked the same halls.

  3. 3 connor December 19, 2006 at 8:07 pm

    A fellow sax player.. hoorah! I should bust mine out to play some Christmas tunes…htt

  4. 4 C Jones December 19, 2006 at 9:26 pm

    Re #1 Congratulations Eric! Your leadership talent is pretty obvious– but so is your humility, so I guess I believe that you were surprised to win 🙂

    And it’s fun to hear about Bookslinger’s brushes with the famous.

  5. 5 Eric Nielson December 20, 2006 at 7:07 am


    Pigeons are kinda fun. I liked letting them go and having them fly back into the cages on their own.

    We don’t need any more stuff really. My wife is a pack-rat and doesn’t want to throw anything out. What we need is a big yard sale.

    The Carnegie award was a life changer. I have been given a fine reputation to live up to.

    Athletes make the world go around.

    I used to break out the sax once in a while for family night. It is broke now. Dificult things to fix in a small town.


    Thanks for sharing your stuff. I don’t know if this will work for you, but I think the idea was to post this on your blog, and then ‘tag’ three people.

    It’s cool that you met so many people. You must have been quite a track guy.


    Wail away!


    Thanks. Humility is as much a Carnegie Principle as Leadership I believe. I want to believe it is possible to be both, but difficult and rare.

  6. 6 Bookslinger December 20, 2006 at 11:27 am

    Eric, I was pretty much Jr. Varsity throughout High School. I only lettered because I participated all 4 years. Our coach had some kind of in with the U of FL, and we had access to the locker room, and to an empty training room for our team sleep in.

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