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    #45619 - 04/26/09 07:15 PM Interesting Article on Bill Gates III's Childhood.
    Austin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124061372413054653.html

    Excerpt:

    "The battles reached a climax at dinner one night when Bill Gates was around 12. Over the table, he shouted at his mother, in what today he describes as "utter, total sarcastic, smart-a** kid rudeness."

    That's when Mr. Gates Sr., in a rare blast of temper, threw the glass of water in his son's face.

    He and Mary brought their son to a therapist. "I'm at war with my parents over who is in control," Bill Gates recalls telling the counselor. Reporting back, the counselor told his parents that their son would ultimately win the battle for independence, and their best course of action was to ease up on him.

    Mr. Gates Sr. understood that counsel because of his own childhood, an hour's ferry ride from Seattle in the working-class town of Bremerton. "There wasn't a lot of structure to my growing up," he says. "I had an awful lot of discretion about where I went, what I did, who I did it with."

    His mother was doting and easygoing. His sister, his only sibling, was seven years older. And his father was a workaholic who sacrificed child-rearing to work at a furniture store he owned with a partner. "His complete focus was on the store," Bill Sr. says.

    Mr. Gates Sr. early on built a life outside of his home. Next door, the Braman family had two boys for him to play with and a father who would become his most important role model.

    That man, Dorm Braman, had built his business and would later become a Naval officer, mayor of Seattle and a U.S. assistant secretary of transportation. In the late 1930s, Mr. Braman brought Bill Sr. on family road trips across the country. He was scoutmaster of Bill Sr.'s Boy Scout troop, leading the boys on hikes through the Olympic Mountains and driving them in a beat-up bus to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. The troop spent two years building a log house from Douglas firs they felled themselves. Mr. Braman had "no sense of personal limitations whatsoever," says Mr. Gates Sr.

    Bill Sr. and Mary ultimately took a page from that upbringing: They backed off. They enrolled their son in a school that they thought would give him more freedom. That was the private Lakeside School, now known as the place where Bill Gates discovered computers.

    Mr. Gates says he began to realize, "'Hey, I don't have to prove my position relative to my parents. I just have to figure out what I'm doing relative to the world.'"
    A Rare Independence

    From age 13, he was given rare independence. He took off some nights to enjoy free use of the computers at the University of Washington. He spent chunks of time away from home -- much as his dad had done as a kid. He lived for a time in Olympia, where he was a page in the state legislature, and in Washington, D.C. as a Congressional page. During his senior year, he took a break from school to work as a programmer at a power plant in southern Washington. And in what would become his first major collaboration with Paul Allen, his future Microsoft cofounder, Mr. Gates designed the "Traf-O-Data", a device for counting cars traveling over a section of road"

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    #45623 - 04/26/09 08:20 PM Re: Interesting Article on Bill Gates III's Childhood. [Re: Austin]
    Katelyn'sM om Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/22/08
    Posts: 1085
    Loc: Austin, TX
    Interesting read.

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    #45653 - 04/27/09 09:25 AM Re: Interesting Article on Bill Gates III's Childhood. [Re: Katelyn'sM om]
    inky Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/10/08
    Posts: 1299
    This article answered some of the questions I had about Gates' parents after reading Gladwell's Outliers. Outliers described Gates being in high school and sneaking out at night to use the computer at UW for hours and hours. His mother later said something like, "Oh, that's why he was so tired."

    Thanks for posting it.

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    #45925 - 04/28/09 02:41 PM Re: Interesting Article on Bill Gates III's Childhood. [Re: inky]
    seablue Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/21/08
    Posts: 356
    Loc: by the sea
    This article reminded me of one I read 20+ years ago on Steven Spielberg.

    In that article, an interview with his mother, Leah Adler said she would allow Steven to miss days of school to shoot a film. I remember being horrified at the time, reading that a parent would (gasp!) do the unthinkable and allow a child to miss school. Now I recall that article and think she was an insightful parent.

    Regardless of what one thinks of Spielberg's movies, he has certainly made a large impact on cinema.

    I went looking for the article online, but only found another one from 1986. Here is an excerpt and the link to the whole thing:

    "When he was growing up, I didn’t know he was a genius. Frankly, I didn’t know what the hell he was. I’m really ashamed, but I didn’t recognize the symptoms of talent. I did him an injustice. I had no idea back then that my son would be Steven Spielberg."

    http://fredbernstein.com/info/spielberg_mom.shtml

    "For one thing -- and he’ll probably take away my charge accounts for saying this -- Steven was never a good student. Once, his teacher told me was ‘special’ -- and I wondered how she meant it."

    "You see, Steven wasn’t exactly cuddly. What he was was scary. When Steven woke up from a nap, I shook." Long before Gremlins, Steven was a master at creating terror. He practiced on his three kid sisters. Says Leah, "He used to stand outside their windows at night, howling, "I am the moon. I am the moon." They’re still scared of the moon. And he cut off the head of one of Nancy’s dolls and served it to her on a bed of lettuce."


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    #46078 - 04/29/09 01:06 PM Re: Interesting Article on Bill Gates III's Childhood. [Re: seablue]
    Katelyn'sM om Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/22/08
    Posts: 1085
    Loc: Austin, TX
    Originally Posted By: seablue
    "You see, Steven wasn’t exactly cuddly. What he was was scary. When Steven woke up from a nap, I shook." Long before Gremlins, Steven was a master at creating terror. He practiced on his three kid sisters. Says Leah, "He used to stand outside their windows at night, howling, "I am the moon. I am the moon." They’re still scared of the moon. And he cut off the head of one of Nancy’s dolls and served it to her on a bed of lettuce."


    Are you sure this was Spielberg and not Stephen King? smile

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