Profile

Cover photo
Tony Payne
Works at Google
Attended Caltech
18,706 followers|24,892,832 views
AboutPostsPhotosYouTube

Stream

Tony Payne

Shared publicly  - 
 
Just over 20 years ago, I stood up in front of Dallas' most privileged citizens and told them the truth. I thought the text of my speech was long gone, but I recently was able to find an archive of a webpage I put up way back then that had the text. Reading it again, I can barely recognize the person that wrote it. I certainly don't know the person that had the courage to stand up there and say those things so bluntly.

--------------

Thank you, Mr. Holtberg. Dr. Shi, faculty, parents, fellow students and honored guests.

I came to St. Mark's believing it would be a cakewalk.

Now, as I finish my walk, I find it was no piece of cake.

In fact, it wasn't even a walk. Rather for me, the St. Mark's experience was an uphill battle, an intense struggle to be extra-ordinary in a group of extraordinary individuals.

Whether he appreciates it or not, everyone on this stage tonight is fortunate that St. Mark's is not as easy as I thought it would be. Without the struggle, we would never have developed the qualities which define a Marksman -- strength of character, academic excellence, courage and honor.

For me, the hardest struggle was gaining acceptance among my peers. It has taken me six years to feel like a part of the school and of the class of 1995. But now that I have earned my place in the class, I am better off for having struggled, and I can look back on my growth with pride.

When I arrived in the seventh grade, I almost immediately acquired the ignominious nickname, "Voo," which was bestowed upon me by my peers because of a speech problem. As a twelve year old boy, I had never experienced such rejection. At my previous school, I had always fit in and the attitudes at St. Mark's shocked me. I couldn't understand why I was treated so poorly. All I wanted was to be accepted for who I was. But to them, I wasn't Tony Payne. I was merely "Voo."

I knew that if my classmates would only give me the chance, they could see in me some of the qualities I respected in them. And so, for the rest of my St. Mark's career, which now draws to a close, I did what I could to show them the real me. I worked hard in the classroom. I gave my all on the athletic fields. I did what I could as ReMarker editor. Although these tangible achievements were a major part of who I was, it was only through lunchtime conversations, study groups, class activities, and the other personal aspects of school life, that my classmates were introduced to the real Tony Payne.

However, the Tony Payne they know today is nothing like the "Voo" they mocked in seventh grade. Through my struggle here, I have gained self-confidence, maturity, and the ability to remain true to myself when others may misunderstand me. I have grown a lifetime in these six years. So have my former tormentors.

All of us have endured our individual trials and tribulations here and we all have learned many valuable lessons from these struggles.

One such lesson taught us how to think. I recall Dr. Keyton's unique teaching methods. He challenged our modes of thinking and made us question everything we took for granted. No longer could we rest on our previous mathematical knowledge, but were forced to think further. He showed us how sometimes one plus one did not equal two. He showed us parallel lines that intersected. And it wasn't until last year that he dared show us how to count, and then only to ten. And though at times there was nothing more frustrating than answering his persistent question of "Why?," we eventually came to realize that Dr. Keyton had taught us much more than just math. He had taught us how to think.

For many of us, our most painful class was seventh grade English. Mr. Connolly's papyrus stick quickly instilled fear in the hearts of the young Marksmen he taught. Whether memorizing hundreds of lines of poetry or expanding our bladders because he wouldn't let us go to the bathroom, his class was always a difficult struggle for us. But when we left his classroom for the last time, we were well on our way to manhood. We had learned the meaning and importance of respect and obedience, of courage and honor.

Marksmen are blessed with a faculty that cares not only for their academic growth, but also for their personal and spiritual growth. For me, Ms. Squilla, Dr. Keyton and Mr. Bennett have become almost family and I know that other teachers have become the same for other students. Teachers like these are some of the many treasures the St. Mark's experience holds. They don't just teach, they inspire. But it goes even beyond that. They instill in their students a true love of learning. That is the greatest gift any teacher can give a student.

The inspiration given me by my teachers has its only parallel in the motivation given me by my classmates. They say you run faster when in a close race. Well, high school has been a closely packed, four year long, sixty seven man race and we have all been moving as fast as we can. Whether the goal was to earn a starting position on a sports team or to earn an "A" in A.P. Chemistry, we have all pushed and encouraged one another to be the best. I know that I would not be giving this speech tonight if it had not been for the desire of others to give it.

In front of you, you see the class of 1995, in my opinion, one of the finest groups of young men you will find anywhere. You also see sixty-seven Marksmen who have endured countless struggles to be here today. By my rude calculations, they represent, collectively, twenty-five hundred hours of sitting in chapel, forty-thousand hours of athletic practice, and 1.6 million hours of homework. Indeed, it has not been a cakewalk for any of us. Inspired and encouraged by our teachers, classmates, and families, we have survived the St. Mark's struggle and have become courageous and honorable men.

The final leg of our first great journey is over and we prepare to embark upon another, even greater journey. All our dreams, our hopes, our aspirations hang in the balance. But we are Marksmen and we are ready for whatever challenges await us in the unforgiving world. We can only hope that in our future struggles, we will find friends and teachers half the caliber of those we are so lucky to know here.

On behalf of the class of 1995, I say good-bye and thank you to everyone who has helped us in our race, who has supported us in our endeavors, and who has believed in us throughout. To our friends, our teachers, our siblings and our parents, I would like to offer a sincere debt of gratitude. To St. Mark's, our alma mater, Voo would like to say thank you for the opportunity to grow and for the struggle that defined us. You will never leave our hearts or our thoughts.

Atq- in perpetuum, frater. Av- atque vale. And forever, brother, hail and farewell.
10
Tim Nguyen's profile photoPam Payne's profile photoJohn Getchel's profile photo
3 comments
 
Such wonderful words Tony!! Thanks for sharing!
Add a comment...

Tony Payne

Shared publicly  - 
22
Paul Brewer's profile photomenkov sihombing's profile photo
2 comments
 
m
Add a comment...

Tony Payne

Shared publicly  - 
 
Today, I learned that the Summer of '69 kicked off within drunken stumbling distance from my house: Jimi Hendrix - Newport Pop Festival 1969 - Full video pt1

This 3 day festival featured Jimi Hendrix, CCR, Steppenwolf, Joe Cocker, Ike & Tina Turner, violent clashes with police and hippies fornicating in my neighbors' yards: http://www.laobserved.com/visiting/2009/06/newport_69_a_retrospect.php
7
Pam Payne's profile photoAdenilson Sousa's profile photo
2 comments
 
Agua viva do esperito santos
 ·  Translate
Add a comment...

Tony Payne

Shared publicly  - 
 
Garage decluttering project is done. Next up, garage organization?
19
1
Eddy Rademaker's profile photoAndi Drew's profile photoCaskey Dickson's profile photo‫عسوله البيضانيه‬‎'s profile photo
3 comments
 
and I can't even manage to organize my wallet
Add a comment...

Tony Payne

Shared publicly  - 
 
Let's Play
16
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
18,706 people
Sasindu Hewage's profile photo
Bob Bobo's profile photo
ABHIRUP BOSE's profile photo
luca tiari's profile photo
Roy Wickham's profile photo
Ron Verbrugge's profile photo
Josafat García's profile photo
Aidan Lee Turnbull's profile photo
Cyn Ponce's profile photo

Tony Payne

Shared publicly  - 
 
In 18 years, I'll be a sophomore, a junior and a senior at the same time. How?
2
Tony Payne's profile photoKarin Nelson's profile photoAudree Lopez's profile photoJ. Rae Chip's profile photo
18 comments
 
Wait 55 is senior now? I thought it was 65.
Add a comment...

Tony Payne

Shared publicly  - 
14
PAMELA “PAM” Pam Pam's profile photo
 
Me gusta
 ·  Translate
Add a comment...

Tony Payne

Shared publicly  - 
 
I know many of you use +Bay Photo Lab for your prints, but I need a suggestion for an alternative source for a 24x30 metal print. This was supposed to be a Christmas gift for my parents, but they just dropped my order on the floor without any notice and now they want me to go back through the clunky, unwieldy ROES software again to place my order. Life is too short to waste with bad software and uncaring customer service.

I do love my metal prints I have from them, so a comparable level of quality is what I'm looking for.

Thanks!
32
April Joy Gutel's profile photoTamara Pruessner's profile photoPam Boling's profile photoElizabeth Lund's profile photo
10 comments
 
Stunning capture!
Add a comment...

Tony Payne

Shared publicly  - 
 
Happy #caturday  
6
Xamian Walker's profile photo
 
Lol
Add a comment...

Tony Payne

Shared publicly  - 
 
You can put the tire swing back up, but you can't turn a man back into a boy, so enjoy life now.
50
1
Eddy Rademaker's profile photoTamara Pruessner's profile photoJ. Rae Chip's profile photoClaudiaAVaron3850 dba Annie Lovelace Artistry's profile photo
10 comments
 
I miss your art, but I also miss you.
Add a comment...

Tony Payne

Shared publicly  - 
 
I've been having trouble sleeping lately.

In unrelated news, the wind chime outside our bedroom door works quite well.
18
1
Warren Searle's profile photoAndi Drew's profile photoSaint Germain's profile photo
2 comments
 
Hope the insomnia is better! I know what it's like.
Add a comment...

Tony Payne

Shared publicly  - 
 
This was my weekend. The faucet decided to let go Wednesday night and flood the house with hot water. The previous owner of the house was an A/C guy, so nothing was done properly. I got to know my Home Depot associates quite well.
8
Pam Payne's profile photoJ. Rae Chip's profile photoTony Payne's profile photoSergey Sus's profile photo
6 comments
 
Wish you would do that at my house! Looks great.
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
18,706 people
Sasindu Hewage's profile photo
Bob Bobo's profile photo
ABHIRUP BOSE's profile photo
luca tiari's profile photo
Roy Wickham's profile photo
Ron Verbrugge's profile photo
Josafat García's profile photo
Aidan Lee Turnbull's profile photo
Cyn Ponce's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Amateur Landscape Photographer, Software Engineer
Employment
  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2010 - present
  • Global Fitness Media
    CTO, 2009 - 2010
  • Perfect Market
    VP of Technology, 2007 - 2009
  • Lone Star Software
    Founder, 2005 - 2007
  • Omnilux
    Director of Software Engineering, 2002 - 2005
  • CitySearch
    Senior Software Engineer, 2002 - 2002
  • PETsMART.com
    Senior Software Engineer, 2000 - 2002
  • Free-PC
    Senior Software Engineer, 1999 - 2000
  • eMachines
  • North Communications
    Systems Architect, 1998 - 1999
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
Amateur Landscape Photographer, Software Engineer
Introduction
Amateur landscape photographer. I'm impulsive and I love driving. I'll hop in the car on a moment's notice for a chance at a beautiful photo or just a chance to get away and be in nature.

I'm not afraid to go against the grain. I shoot Sony alpha and I'm proud of it!

I'm a software engineer. I love to build new things, hence why I've been a part of a dozen start-ups.
Education
  • Caltech
  • St. Mark's School of Texas
Links
YouTube
Contributor to