Interviewer: Your childhood was not always easy and that you experienced some difficulties in school. Can you tell me more about that?
Ole: Yeah, my childhood was definitely not always easy. My parents divorced when I was 5 years old and I ended up living with my father. I went to a public school from first to fifth grade and it was really tough for me. I had a hard time concentrating and I just wasn’t really interested in what was being taught. I would get bored and I would make a lot of fun, which the teachers didn’t really appreciate. My dad eventually sent me to a private school in sixth grade, but that only made things worse. There was a lot of bullying at that school and I was sometimes bullied because I didn’t have the right fashion clothes. My dad didn’t have a lot of money and sometimes he would get a few sacks of used clothes from someone that I could wear, so I didn’t always have new clothes.
Interviewer: Your experience in school changed after ninth grade. Can you tell me more about that?
Ole: Yeah, after ninth grade, I decided that I wanted to complete tenth grade at a boarding school. It was a really big decision for me, but I felt like it was the right move. And I’m really glad that I made that choice, because the boarding school was an amazing experience. I loved it because all the kids were accepted as they were. It was such a welcoming and inclusive environment and I really felt like I belonged there.
Interviewer: What was it about the boarding school that made it such a positive experience for you?
Ole: I think it was just the sense of community and belonging that I found at the boarding school. It was such a welcoming and accepting place and I felt like I could be myself there. I also really enjoyed the independence and responsibility that came with living in a boarding school. It was a really empowering and enriching experience for me.
Interviewer: You mentioned that you were interested in being a stage magician when you were younger. Can you tell me more about that experience and what it was like for you?
Ole: Yeah, I was really passionate about being a stage magician when I was around 12 years old. My best friend and I would practice magic tricks together and we even went to magic conventions where I would perform as “Mr. Gabriel – The Magician.” It was just so much fun for me and I really enjoyed being able to share my magic with others. I even started my own little home shop called “Mr. Gabriel’s Magic,” where I would sell magic tricks. I remember we were members of a monthly gathering for magicians, where there were vendors selling magic tricks and we would perform for each other. It was just such a great experience for me and I really loved that part of my life at that age.
Interviewer: What made you lose interest in being a stage magician?
Ole: Honestly, I can’t really remember why I lost interest in being a stage magician. It just kind of faded away for me as I got older and my interests changed. But I will always look back on that time with fond memories and I’m really grateful for the experience. It was just a really fun and rewarding part of my life and I’m glad that I was able to have that opportunity.
Interviewer: You’ve had a variety of jobs before becoming a full-time teacher. Can you tell me more about that?
Ole: Yeah, I’ve definitely had a lot of different jobs before becoming a full-time teacher. I’ve worked as a wrapper, page boy, educational assistant, postman, cleaner, and aide to the disabled. I even went with my dad on work when I was a boy. He was a truck driver and I would help him carry stuff. At one point he drove for bakeries, which was really nice because we always had our fridge full of chocolate buttons and marcipan.
Interviewer: I know that you sold photos on a sight-seeing tour of the canals in Copenhagen. Can you tell me more about that experience and how it worked?
Ole: Yeah, that was definitely an interesting and fun experience. As the boat went off, it would stop at a bridge along the way and there would be a photographer on the bridge taking photos of all the tourists on the boat. Then, at almost the end of the tour, the photographer would throw down the ready-made photos in the boat and it was my job to sell them to the tourists. It was a really interesting and fun job because I had to be quick and efficient in order to make sales. It was also just really fun to be able to work in such a beautiful and historic city like Copenhagen.
Interviewer: You mentioned that you struggled with your life mission and doubts about what you wanted to do for a living. Can you tell me more about that experience and how you eventually found your path?
Ole: Yeah, for several years I really struggled with finding my purpose and figuring out what I wanted to do for a living. I tried several different educations, including initial courses in education, computer science, and information technology, but nothing really spoke to me. It was a really challenging and difficult time for me because I just didn’t know what I was meant to do with my life.
Interviewer: How did you eventually find your passion and your path in life?
Ole: It was actually through teaching online that I eventually found my passion and my path in life. I realized that I really enjoyed teaching and helping others to learn and grow. It was something that just really spoke to me and I felt like I had finally found my calling. So I decided to focus on teaching online full time and it’s been an amazing experience.
Interviewer: How has your experience teaching online been so far?
Ole: It’s been an amazing experience. I’ve been able to connect with so many people from all over the world and it’s just been really fulfilling to be able to share my knowledge and help others to learn and grow. I’ve also been able to have a lot of flexibility and independence in my work, which has been really empowering and rewarding. Overall, I’m just really grateful for the opportunity to teach online and to have found my passion in life.
Interviewer: You once had a heavy needle phobia and that you eventually overcame it by getting a tattoo. Can you tell me more about that experience and how you were able to overcome your fear?
Ole: Yeah, I used to have a really intense fear of needles. It was so bad that I even refused to get vaccinated when I was in school. It took my dad taking me alone to the nurse and me hesitantly getting the shot to finally overcome that fear. But even after that, I still had a lot of fear and hesitation when it came to needles.
Eventually, I decided that I wanted to get a tattoo, but I was just too scared to go through with it. I wanted to prove to myself that I could overcome my fear, so I started building up some courage and eventually I had 3 small runes tattooed. It was such a proud moment for me because I had finally gone through with something that I was so afraid of.
And you know what they say – once you go through the pain of getting one tattoo, you just want more and more. So now I have about 20 tattoos on both of my arms.
Interviewer: You mentioned to me that you would like to cross the United States from east to west someday. Can you tell me more about that dream and why it’s important to you?
Ole: Yeah, it’s definitely a dream of mine to be able to cross the United States from coast to coast. I think it would just be such a great experience to be able to see all the different parts of the country and to experience all the different cultures and histories. I’m not sure if I would do it on a motorcycle, but I do have a driver’s license and I would definitely consider getting a motorcycle license for an occasion like that.
One place that really appeals to me is Mt. Shasta. I don’t know what it is about that place, but I just have this desire to go there and maybe even live there for a while.
To be continued…