Ryan's Background

The Early Years:

I was born on September 13,1976 at the Onamia Hospital in Onamia Minnesota to Gary and Cheryl Anderson. I was the second child, and God's will would also make me the last, even though my parent's had intended to have a larger family. My brother Cory is 1.5 years my Sr., to the day. As toddlers and little boys we were great playmates, and as teenagers we would grow to become best friends.

I spent the first 18 years of my life on a Dairy Farm in ,Wahkon, MN (pop. 197) near the beautiful Lake Mille Lacs. My early days were filled with adventures in the cowyard and time spent playing with our dog "Blacky".

I started attending Isle Elementary School in September of 1982, just before I turned 6. A few years later, it was renamed to Herbert S. Nyquist Elementary School. I sang a solo at the dedication ceremony, and Mr. Nyquist gave me a Silver Certificate Dollar printed in 1935 as a gift. I still have that dollar today.

My brother and I moved on to building forts out of staw in the hayloft. We spent a lot of time riding our bikes, jumping them on wooded ramps we would nail together, and using them to go out to pasture and chase the cattle home. Our bikes also gave us the means to make friends with the kids that were our neighbors. The closest of which lived a mile away. We bagan to help our Dad more on the farm by driving tractors to pick rock, bale hay, etc. Click here to read my Tractor Story.

High School:

In the fall of 1989 I entered the 7th grade, and started to attend Isle High School. I quickly got involved in extra curricular activities. I played football for the consolidated Isle/Onamia "Mille Lacs Raiders" and I played basketball and golf for the Isle "Indians." I had actually started playing Basketball a year earlier in 6th grade because they were so short handed that they couldn't have Varsity Basketball unless they pulled everybody up. So, we became the 7th grad team.

I excelled quickly in Football and by the time I was a Sr. had won multiple awards include "Lineman of the Year" three times. I was also a Captain. I was a center and long snapper through my Jr. Year and a tackle my Sr. year for offense. I played a tackle and nose guard on defense throughout my entire H.S. career and I was on all the special teams. My Jr. Year I would never leave the field until I asked my coach to give me a rest. I loved it!

I also participated in band and choir throughout my years at IHS. When I was a Jr. we revived a select mens Quintet called the "Polyesters" (See Photo to the Right). I sang tenor. My Sr. year one of our members graduated and we continued as a Quartet.

We had some really good times in that group. Sometimes we would sing at community social functions and work for tips. Sometimes we would go on tour around to some High Schools and colleges. Our instructor was a great teacher and really just a fun guy to hang out with. And to top it all off, the girls loved it! We should have been thinking bigger. We could have beat N'Sync and The Backstreet Boys to the punch....LOL.

I was very active in my Church youth group and held the office of secretary for one year and President for two years. The highlights of Youth Group had to be the National Youth Gatherings I attended. The first in New Orleans when I was 15, and the second in San Antonio after my Sr. year when I was 18. I still have close friends that I made riding the bus on those trips. And, I still remember that feeling of God's presence, when 28,000 Christian's gather in one place. It was incredible!

By this time, my brother and I could pretty much handle everything on the Farm. In fact, there were a few times we had to. When I was in 8th, 10th, and 12th grade by father managed to get laid up for periods ranging from 4-12 weeks. We would handle the chores, hold down part time jobs in town, go to school, and continue in our extra curriculars. Sometimes I look back and wonder how we did it.

Besides the work on the farm, I worked for four years at Isle Super Valu where I acquired the nickname "Snuce". I became one of the top grocery baggers in the industry (Well, I actually have no proof of that but I would be willing to demonstrate and let you judge for yourself).

For some more short comments and pictures from my High School years, check out my IHS page.

College:

In the fall of 1995 I headed east to the Boston area to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I majored in Mechanical Engineering which at MIT is refered to as course II but is most commonly called MechEasy. I originally went to MIT planning to major in Aero/Astro Engineering but, due to many things, including the variable job field, I changed my mind.

I managed the MIT Lobby 7 Junior Class Donut Stand my Junior Year. We liked to refer to it as 'Ye Olde Donut Stand'. The stand was a fundraiser for the Junior class at MIT. In the years before I was the manager, the stand did not do a very good job of raising funds. I made it my goal to turn things around and "save" the donut stand, so to speak as MIT admistration was looking to shut it down. I was able to do just that, but unfortunately I failed in one critical area, appointing a competent manager to succeed me. The stand struggled along for a few years but finally was disbanded when an initiative to restore Lobby 7 was put into action.

I was also a member of the MIT Logarhythms my sophomore through senior years. As for freshman year, I missed the tryouts (it's a long story). The Logarhythms are an all male A Cappella group at MIT. The Logs sing a lot of pop, barbershop and have even tried their hand at Techno (Mortal Kombat). Almost all of the music is arranged by members of the Logs. They are semi-professional, which means that they sing for money but only to raise funds for producing our CD's or going on tour. My junior year for spring break we went to England and Scotland on tour. It was a lot of fun. In 1999, the Logs were 50 years old which makes them one of the oldest collegiate a cappela groups in the country. If you're ever in the Boston area and they're putting on a concert, be sure to check them out. You'll love the show and it is garaunteed to be a good time.

I interned for two summers at the Timken Company in Canton, Ohio. I was hired through the Engineering Internship Program at MIT which is a 5 year co-op masters program. I decided to leave the program my Sr. year, so I did a Bachlor's Thesis and in the spring of 1999 I graduated from MIT with my BS in Mechanical Engineering.

For my Thesis, I built a Human Powered Vehicle that could travel along high tension cables. This was to provide a possible solution for transportation problems in rural Nepal, where the Nepalese people are very poor and must travel many miles for goods. You can learn more about it in my Portfolio. My internships at Timken went great so I hired in full time.

During the school year, I lived at 99 Bay State Road in Boston, MA where I was a brother of the Lambda Zeta chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha. I served for two years as the house manager which is a big responsibility when your house was built in the early 1900's. Things constantly need to be fixed, improved, or replaced. I really enjoyed living in a fraternity. A lot of people seem to have the wrong idea about what a fraternity consists of. Their impressions seem to be that all fraternities are like "Animal House" and that they take away from the education process and society as a whole. The truth of the matter is that all fraternities are different with a wide variance from campus to campus. Some fraternities might be like those portrayed in "Animal House", but for the most part, and especially at MIT, the fraternities play a valuble role in the college experience. They tend to promote rather then hinder the educational process.