La Verne Magazine
"The University of La Verne: A Day in the Life"
The Man and the Mouse
by Cherryl F. Cercado
photography by Veero Der-Karabetian
Jason Wallace has thrown his life in several directions while at the
University of La Verne: sports, fraternity and academics.
As silence fills the computer lab where Jason Wallace works, he finds
himself in a situation that he is not used to. The silence is broken by
a frantic clicking of the mouse. Click... click... double-click... and then
with a hint of frustration, he finally says under his breath, "I can't
Wallace, a junior computer science major with an emphasis in software
and a minor in criminology, is used to finding the one file that no one
else can. Simply put, he likes computers, and, in return, the computers
seem to like him.
Wallace was about 10 years old when he laid eyes on his first computer
at his baby-sitter's house. "My babysitter had a Commodore 64, and
we used to always go over there and play games," he says.
But it was high school that nurtured his interest in computers when
he started taking programming classes. From then on, Wallace knew that computer
science would be his major. "I knew that's where I wanted to be and
I knew that in high school," he says. "I knew that the job market
would do well in computers."
He does concede that his knowledge in computers was not exceptional.
In fact, he still refuses to call himself an expert on the matter. "I
can use a computer. I can show people how to use a computer," says
Wallace thoughtfully. "But, I'm not an expert in how the computer works
or why some things work and why some things don't."
His software emphasis allows him to be creative; he deals mostly with
programs, making them work and installing them. "I decided that software
would be a better way to go," says Wallace.
He also explains that if his criminology minor does not lead him to
work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA), his software emphasis might allow him to attain a position
with companies like Nintendo or Sega Genesis and create games.
"I think I'm creative," says Wallace modestly. "I don't
really know for sure, but I can come up with some good thoughts inside my
head when I need to. I have a good imagination, and it allows me to think
of some creative things when I need to."
Although he has a full academic load carrying 15 units, and works at
the computer lab every day of the week except for Wednesdays, Wallace admits
that he is not the typical student. "People are always sitting down
to study, and I can't do that. I need to be in the computer lab," he
explains. "I've been blessed with a great memory."
Other things that may not make Wallace so typical is the fact that as
a freshman he was part of the Division III National Championship baseball
"It was a dream season," says Wallace. "We went undefeated
through the conference, and we just dominated everybody. We went back to
Virginia, and everybody looked at us and said, 'Look at these guys from
the West Coast.' We went in as underdogs and decided to just win."
He "fell in love" with baseball 10 years ago and has played
on a team ever since. Although he did take the last season off, he is eager
to return to the sport and play once again.
Does Wallace love computers as much as he loves baseball?
"Close to it," he says with a smile. "Probably not as
strongly, but pretty close to it. I love to go out and play baseball just
because it's outside and with friends.
"It's a different feeling around computers. The power that the
computer has is at your fingertips, and you could do anything you want with
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