Just Who Is Scott Croom?

urban-cowboy

Let’s see, I grew up in Pasadena Texas in the 1970s. I was quite active in speech and debate and attended college on numerous speech scholarships. I won numerous awards at the state level for public speaking. If you are familiar at all with Pasadena (city motto: the grass is always greener is Pasadena, really), then please don’t hold it against me as I have my teeth, I’m not a racist inbred redneck, and I am literate.

I managed to get a BS in business. Though, in fairness, most business degrees are total BS. My dad the rocket scientist used to say: you know the difference between an English major and a business major? The business major runs the til and the English major pumps the gas.  Considering my degree was in HR and I only had 1 finance class in college, I landed a job on Wall St. at the height of a recession.

12741274_1My very first trade as a licensed broker (92 on my Series 7 btw) was an iron butterfly spread. That sort of defined my career in finance. My ability to see problems ahead of time and being able to relate to people on a human level meant I moved up the ranks and was in product management in two years. Actually, I’d say that I was in management before two years but since that’s a violation of a lot of really good and well defended Federal laws, let’s say I started leading people on my 2nd anniversary of my Series 7.

I accumulated a TON of securities licenses and managed to grow the 2nd largest office in Houston with Waterhouse into the 6th largest TD Ameritrade office in the country. I left TD Ameritrade after the merger to take over a sleepy (literally, my predecessor took naps in the office it was so quiet) one man and two intern office and within 6 years made it the 3d largest Scottrade office in the country even though multiple branches were spun off of mine. Oh, the Houston Business Journal saw fit to do an article on my business development gamble that paid off in spades.

However, as I like to say, “Money ain’t got no soul” and the wear and tear of people blowing their life savings for really stupid reasons like greed wore on me. After 15 years, I left to become a teacher.

In six years, I never stepped foot outside of a Title 1 school. I managed to teach math, science, history, and engineering. I enjoyed teaching engineering at an exceedingly rough Title 1 middle school magnet program. While a large percentage of my students were homeless, we still managed to excel in my two years we:

  • Award winning BEST robotics coach -2nd place in regionals 2012, President’s Award 2013
  • Award winning wind turbine coach – 1st place inaugural year Texas region KidWind.org competition all the way to nationals in Washington DC.

I also got the opportunity to take a gun from a kid that smuggled it in a Takis bag since backpacks and other bags were banned for precisely that reason. I had to do fundraisers to buy kids the most basic uniform items.

Violent assaults in the hallways were the norm much of the time since the school was just about everything people suspect goes on in a school in the middle of one of the top 3 most violent neighborhoods in America. Heck, we even had a lunchroom worker running a prostitution ring using middle school students as prostitutes. It was a rough school, but there were some great kids.

I miss my kids every single day but I couldn’t handle the culture of violence and the obsession with testing at all costs.

Given the stark violence, assaults, drug use, and nightmarish bureaucracy that Kafka would not believe, I wanted to get back to my marketing roots.  Marketing requires creativity and smarts as well as those skills of thinking ahead that were honed by playing chess all those years.

As a web developer, I’ve done copyrighting for blogs and news articles, manage social media accounts across God knows how many social media sites for clients, do consulting work, and about a million other things that usually happens when you work in a startup environment. I can talk DNS and grep with the best of them but also talk about UX/UI like a Gauloises smoking art school grad.

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Some Personal Flavor

Personal Flavor

Love wargames, toy soldiers, and boardgames. My favorite part of the hobby is assembling and painting miniatures,especially white metal and lead miniatures.  I also love disc golf and ball golf, even though I am atrocious. Either way, I keep at it. I also enjoy playing chess, see my comment about golf.

I love art. I love the Socialist Realism school of art as well as the Romantic Realism of artists like Damon A.H. Denys. I enjoy reading political philosophy as divergent as Žižek and Rand. I enjoy history with one of my alltime favorites being Mahan’s Influence of Naval Power of World History. Considering it was written 130 years ago, his lessons still very much are alive in the news.

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