Governor's School Application Narrative Statement


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Governor's School Application Narrative Statement I am Michael Plasmeier, otherwise known as ThePlaz. I run several websites, serving about 50,000 pages a day. All throughout my life I was interested in computers; I remember showing my Kindergarten and elementary school teachers how to use their computers. I also maintain an "A" average in school as the teacher recommendations attest.


GridView: Successful FB Application

As I detail on my resume, I run several web projects of varying types and of varying successfulness. GridView [1], my application for Facebook, is my most successful project. It has between 30,000 and 60,000 users a day. GridView is a great opportunity to get my work seen by thousands of people and also to learn what it is like to run a web business. I recently sold 25% of it to someone who became my partner in return for his advice (he is also the director of ad operations at a major social network) and a small investment. Together we think that GridView is worth more than $125,000. This is a great opportunity for me to receive some funding to cover the costs, learn how to run a business, and make a profit from my skills. However, I have learned a lot about building scalable websites and Linux server administration.

Tecker 911: Leadership in Community Television and Podcasting

Tecker 911 [2] shows my leadership skills. I am the producer and director of the show and organize everything from the people to the equipment to the editing. Each episode takes about 4 hours of my time in total. I organize all of the ideas, assign writers to brainstorm episodes, set up shoot times, as well as borrow the necessary equipment. During the shoot I host many of the episodes and direct the other hosts in their hosting style (as I point out in my resume, I have years of theater experience and also host my school’s morning news show). I also created all of the branding and editing standards for Tecker 911. This all pays off by helping to educate my community in something I know well, technology. Because the show is shown on our cable network, many people from my community recognize me from Tecker 911.

SeniorQuoter: Leadership in Free Software Coding and Project Management

I am also the project manager and leader for SeniorQuoter [3]. I founded SeniorQuoter to help my yearbook, but I chose to make the code freely available to everyone under the GPL license. As I detail on my resume, I also lead a group study in my school in PHP and MySQL. For the group study, I outlined the jobs and delegated them to my programming team I trained earlier in the quarter. I then supervised their work and helped them when they needed it. This was a great experience for me to work on my instructing and managing skills.

So Much More Than A Coder

Although I am the primary coder for my projects, I have also created all of the logos, branding, and user experience. I see myself more interested in human-computer interaction and project management than being a straight programmer. I mentioned that I do all of the branding and design for my sites. People have told me that superior design is the reason they use GridView over its competitors. As the director of my projects, I also think about the broader implications of technology. Technology is also at the point where it is turning around society. The worries about privacy on Facebook hit home for me, as I must protect the data of hundreds of thousands of users. My favorite topics in school revolve around human interaction, as the letter from my AP Economics and American Studies teacher indicates. (Also I did an extensive paper and video on Globalization)

In Summation

So, it is critical that I attend the Governor’s school because the topics being discussed are critical to me now. GridView’s hundreds of thousands of members demand not only server up-time, but a cohesive and engaging user experience which fits into the framework of Facebook. I am not only a programmer, but a designer, project manager, and on-air personality. I have extensive experience in managing teams of people, both for coding and television production. I know how powerful technology can be. Thus, I feel that I would be an asset to the Governor’s School in Technology.