Michael Zenner, condensed version

20 July, 1970 Born, San Pablo, CA. 
1970-1989 I spent most of the 70's being a little kid, and a good part of the 80's being a teenager in scenic Portland, Oregon. I attended a public alternative school, Metropolitan Learning Center, from Kindergarten through high school, graduating in 1988.
On July 20, 1987, I received my Private Pilot Certificate, thus opening a can of worms of such magnitude that I still don't know when it will stop playing havoc with my life. See my aviation page for more details. Since then I have earned a commercial pilot certificate with instrument, single and multiengine ratings, as well as a flight instructor certificate with an instrument rating of its own. 
1989-1993 In 1989, after graduating from high school, working on some advanced pilot ratings, and holding down a regular job for a year or so, I moved east, to Amherst, Massachusetts, where I attended Hampshire College. On 15 May, 1993, I graduated, having fallen in love with the study of Cognitive Science. I also made intellectual forays into law and legal studies, film and video production, and was trained and worked as a residential counselor. I also took part in fencing, martial arts, weightlifting, and mountain biking. At Hampshire I made many friends who I still love and value, even if we don't see each other that often, due mainly to massive geographical separation (if anyone from this category sees this, email me!). 
1993-1995 After finishing college in New England, I returned to my home, Portland, Oregon. There I pursued an interest in cycling, and raced some, which served mainly to reinforce that I just wasn't all that fast. I still enjoy riding, but I have mellowed quite a bit since then. I got a job working at Performace Bicycle in Beaverton, Oregon. At the end of my first year at the shop, I was working as a mechanic, but soon felt the urge to move on. During this time, I lived with a couple of friends from high school, and was having a very social, very fun time. I eventually decided it was time to get serious again, and applied to graduate school. I ended up getting accepted into the Psych program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and in July of 1995, I moved to California. 
1995-1997 In an attempt to optimally hit the cycles in the housing market, I moved to Santa Cruz a couple of months before I had to start school. During this "dead time", I got the crazy idea to get my long-dormant pilot's license current again. I looked at a map of the local area, and found that Watsonville was the nearest airport. On a lark, one day I wandered out to see what the story was. I stumbled by accident into the Santa Cruz Flying Club, and got re-hooked instantly. Meanwhile, Graduate school was becoming a disappointment. I quickly realized that in Psychology, the work is its only reward, and the work my advisor was doing just wasn't as interesting to me as I felt it needed to be, and my daily reality involved a lot of sitting in rooms with no windows. So, it was a painful decision, but in the spring of 1997, I withdrew from the PhD program. By this time, I was instructing full time, and having great fun at it. There is something extremely satisfying about taking a completely normal person, and putting them through a process which turns them into a pilot. It's something I doubt I'll ever get tired of. 
1997-1999 After spending a couple of years as a full-time instructor, I was lucky enough to find work as a contract co-pilot on a couple of local airplanes.  This experience was enough to get a full-time job as a co-pilot for a local produce company.  This was also great fun, and I learned an enormous amount about operating larger aircraft.  Then, in April of 1999, I was interviewed and hired by SkyWest Airlines as a first officer on the EMB-120 Brasilia. I was in the June, 1999 class, and entered line service at the end of July. Without a doubt, being an airline pilot is the most amazingly fun job I have ever had.  I highly recommend it!
1999-2000 A year and a half flying the line, and it finally happens: Upgrade! As I write this, I have exactly two more working days as a first officer for my current airline. I'll either turn into a Captain, or I'll be looking for my next job. Along with this, I'm getting ready to say goodbye to California. It's been great, and I have the friends that I want to keep for my entire life, but it's time to move on.
The Present This is pretty much it as far as the short version goes. Of course, I have a million stories, just like anybody else, and some of those can be found elsewhere on this site. If you know me from way back, this should give you some idea of what I've been up to, and if you've just met me, this should give you some idea of where I've been. If you haven't met me at all, then I am flattered that you found me so fascinating that you read the bio of a total stranger. Why not drop me a line? 

This page Copyright 1997-99 Michael Zenner(mvz@agora.rdrop.com). Last Update October 17, 2000