I'm Erik

I was born and raised outside Chicago and spent the first decade of my adult life there. Now I'm a software engineer living in New York. I mostly work in web things, particularly with ruby, javascript and scala.

My Story

I was born in the year 1984. Around the 1997 I taught myself to like roller coasters and for the next few years I planned to study engineering and become a roller coaster designer. 4 years later I was a vegan anarchist punk rocker, and I've been oscillating between these two ideals ever since.

I spent my 20s around Chicago: punk and radical politics around the height of the Iraq war led me naturally to the radical bike scene. For the better part of a decade I [barely, and only through extreme privilege] kept a part-time job drawing blueprints of screws while volunteering as a bike mechanics instructor and collective member at The Recyclery. I'd also been involved in some local immigrant and community organizing and after a trip to an amazing Spanish immersion school in Guatemala, my interest in popular education and community organizing led me into teaching. I spent several years working towards and eventually becoming a Social Studies teacher in Chicago Public Schools. At the end of the 2013 school year, my first, CPS closed 50 schools at once and I was left without a job (along with a few thousand other teachers). So that was the end of my time as a teacher.

I went to Mexico with my band for a bit, studied more Spanish with the EZLN in Chiapas, and returned home to a friend's couch. Eventually I found a job as a public benefits paralegal with a legal aid organization. A year later I'd decided that a legal career wasn't for me. In 2015 did a coding bootcamp.

I've been doing that ever since- as work I find it creatively fulfilling, and it's a valuable skill to be able to contribute as a leftist. At the same, I'm extremely aware that this story is one of endless second chances and special privilege to take risks. I should probably move this into a blog post.

Here is some art I painted on my first smart phone- Carrot at sunset: Hi from carrot

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