My name is Michael Hall. This is a simple introduction about a person who can be a simple person, yet at times be so complicated and confusing. I have experienced many changes in my life, yet there are aspects about my life which remain consistent.
My name has become a statistic in many ways, and I fit in many categories. I have graduated from college twice, went back to get a teacher's license, gone back again to get a gifted and talented teaching endorsement, and I'm still learning about who and what I can still be. I am married, but waited what most think is a long time to get married. Coming from a divorced family, I waited for the best, and yes I found it.
Patty and I have been married for nearly 11 years, and she waited for Mr. Right, too- that's me. We don't plan to have children, and realize that live is an adventure to be shared. Children, however helpful, can prevent adults from having this adventure.
Another way I'm a statistic, other than the usual government things like paying taxes, census, etc., is that we have an appreciation for material things since we always didn't have them or as much of them as we do now. My family was never poor in that sense. I guess I never was refused much as a child, but it is nice to have my own computers, an office decorated with western stuff, two vehicles, a new an apartment in a new town, Laredo. After working nine years as a teacher and a copy editor at the Brownsville Herald, I now work as the Laredo Morning Times Busienss Journal editor.
I came here because Patty accepted a position to be project manager for the Laredo Texas Workforce Center. During the transition, we were apart for about six weeks, but have now settled with most of the address changes completed. In the traditional sense, I have been successful with my life with change as normal. However, I am complicated, an individual, and not so usual. I try hard to maintain my relationships with my wife as a lover, friend and companion. I have worked hard as a teacher to go beyond the walls of my English class and teach organization, discipline, respect, and the ability to think and create. My projects and school activities have been rewarded by the city the school board, with first place school play results, and the establishment of a new club, the Gifted and Talented Club at my school. I transferred my interest of working with wood for a survival-type job at a furniture factory for nearly two years. I could have been spent the rest of my life in Ripley, Mississippi, but there was more for me to do.
I have proved myself as a good newspaper photographer and reporter, and I enjoy the life of a journalist now with an established, company with good benefits. The business is a business of news as a product, and this was not stressed enough in college.
I believe in education. Both my parents have their doctorates in vocational education. All of my three sisters have a bachelors degree, and that was not an option with my parents. Education is they key to acquiring of knowledge, and along with a large dose of experience, a person develops life skills. Journalism taught me how to deal with people and rapidly changing situations. The camera became an extension of my imagination. The power of words has been proved over and over. Writing has been my mental salvation and I believe my final destiny.
My experiences have been recorded in a diary-like system of hundreds of poems, several which have been published in journals, newsletter, and anthologies. My published name is Elias Tobias. In high school, I used Olan dey Gabona to hid my work since it was a sports/band- oriented school, and writing wasn1t cool. I started writing poems and what I thought was music when I was around 12 years old. I was very sick and could have died. I would have, except for this specialist at Riley Chidrens Hospital in Indianapolis who found a way to cure me. He had nine other patients who had the same problem as me, and I was the one who survived. It took one year of pills, and three years to gradually get off the regiment before I could become the normal teacher and journalist that is so simple to see. I spent my first year of sixth grade at home, resting and getting better.
It was there I began writing as a way to occupy my time. I still have those short stories on file somewhere, in case I get famous. I started taking clarinet lessons the following year, my second sixth grade year at a new school since we moved to a house my parents owned. It was the same city, but I was a different person. I gave concerts to the third graders. My music career ended basically in high school during my junior year. I made a decision that affected me the rest of my life. I was approached to be one of the editors of the school newspaper after being one of the three editors of a literary supplement, my foot in the journalism door.
I asked my band director for advice and he suggested music was not my strongest asset. Straight C's for two years could have given he the hint, but I'm a perfectionist at things. Since then I have developed an appreciated for those who can make a living at music and enjoy 70's and 80's rock and pop, some types of country music, jazz- the old and new stuff, and cowboy music.
Travel and living in different states was something I got used to as a child. My father and mother were both Marines, and I lived in several cities in California before my father used his bachelors degree to be a teacher in Reno, Nevada. He was also involved in the oil business after the military, and became a important regional boss over several districts. He was gone from home much of the time, though. My mother didn't like that much and I guess I didn't either.
I loved living in the west, going to ghost towns and a lake on an Indian reservation. I have combined the love of the Old West and my interest writing to come up with several ideas for novels about the period. I love the hill country around the north of San Antonio. I have transferred my appreciation for camping as youth in Boy Scouts to camping in the parks with clear water streams and live oak trees of the hill country. My office, a converted garage, has western landscape prints in gray frames, my cowboy hats, Old West prints of pictures and wanted posters, horse shoes and other such decorations along with three book shelves. Some say it's a museum, but it's part of me.
One important part about me and my office are my computers. I have a PC and Mac. I started with Macintosh computers in college,and I am basically self-taught with the operation of the machine and the programs in it. Along with my Gateway we bought one December for Christmas, they are tools we use for my personal needs, my writing and poetry and my school needs, and my wife's job requirements. My new scanner acts like a copier and can send e-mail to my Mom in China. This web site, World of Words by Elias Tobias started in 1998, and about 10,300 people have stopped by. This is not my only experience with computers and poetry. When I went back to Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana for my teaching certificate, I started a bulletin board service on the VAX main frame computer called "The Poetry Club".
I started it since the official literary magazine was published once a year, was too thin, and didn't reflect the poetic potential at a 20,000 student university. I was limited to space since the "blocks" were to be used for personal work. Quickly the space used used up and within a year, I had to make changes. With "The Poetry Club", students could read work by others, or submit work to be read, and all files were stored in the individual writer's accounts.
Eventually, talks with the university lead to the creation of the Ball State Literature Foundation, a combination of my BBS and a short story BBS and a permanent part of the VAX system. I was not technically minded, but sought help from those that knew the codes and such to get things started. Editors are chosen by the Indiana Writing Project, part of the English Department , and also has a faculty sponsor. My original 12-step method of the Poetry Club has become a three-step menu that is user friendly.
I hope my work at a web site for my poetry can bring exposure to my work and eventually lead to book publications, and merchandise sales. Perhaps other can share their poetry on-line, as did Monique Fox. Networking with other poetry sites is a good possibility, too. It all takes time.
I'm a work in progress......I am patient, but for other things, not so patient. I am organized, But at times I don1t want to be so organized and hate a day planned minute by minute. I am impulsive at shopping, but I can wait for necessary things. I can be creative, but at times want to just watch TV and relax. I like to get plants to grow, yet I do better with started plants than working from seeds. I am simple, yet complicated. Many facets about my life have changed, yet there runs threads of continuity which lead me to further changes in my life. I am a work in progress, and writing, for whatever reason, will certainly be a part of those changes.
Go to the Home Page:
My official resume:
Poetry Credits-A Publishing History: