Unlike many past presidents, I do not come from a mining lineage. I liked math in high school and believed I wanted to be an engineer. I told my math teacher that, and he laughed in my face. I believe that humiliation is what carried me through engineering school. At the time my ability to go to college relied on how inexpensive I could make it. My brother told me that there were a lot of scholarships in mining engineering, and I should apply to mining schools. As usual, he was right and I was off to the University of Idaho to study. My first summer break I got a job with Hecla at a mine in Arizona. I was a laborer on a shotcrete crew. I knew after the first summer that I loved underground mining, and I never considered changing disciplines. Looking back, I was working in miserable conditions (hot, humid), on a miserable job (shotcrete), where I got injured, and two summer student roommates died in a car accident on the commute home after work. I had every reason to hate the industry, as I had seen virtually everything bad about what we do. But I didn’t, I loved it. I said I was good at math, I never said I was smart.