Cuneiform and Midwest Corn – Meet Wynne Linden

Wyne LindenWynne Linden describes herself better than I could in a few words.  She says: “Loud, Curious, Excitable! I am definitely me!”

This mom of two is funny, supportive, and knows how to read and write Cuneiform! She loves music and has lived all over the US and Turkey. She is an SEO expert and I highly recommend you follow her on Google+, Twitter (@wynneweb), and Facebook.

You may also want to keep an eye on her reviews on Yelp! Her personal website is Wynne Web Adventures Wynne was kind enough to sit with me for one of my virtual interviews.

Vago: Let’s start with the easy stuff ….what’s the most profound thing you’ve ever read in Cuneiform? 🙂

Wynne: A list of all items owned by a wealthy landowner.

Vago: For those who don’t know…can you explain what Sumeria was and why it matters? You list your job as learning cuneiform. Wow. Tell us about that. What do you do? How long have you done it? How did you get into it?

Going for an AwardWynne: Sumeria was a city born in the cradle of civilization.One of the most notable finds in archaeology between the Tigris and Euphrates (at least when I was a kid in the late 60’s and 70’s) were the tablets of clay with a type of writing called cuneiform. The scribes of Sumeria used a stylus with a pointy end to press indentations in the clay to create symbols that represented words and numbers. The need for written language in this civilization probably came from the stabilization of humanity (not so much hunter and gathers and more farmers and craftsmen, etc.) They probably wanted a way to keep records of all that they owned, traded and grew. Really not much exciting here. I simply have always wanted to be an archaeologist and to discover amazing lost civilizations from a time when we believed did not have records or organization. Prior to hearing about Sumeria I was completely enamored of ancient Egypt. I cannot explain my fascination. My best guess is that I’ve never felt like I belonged “here” and perhaps I missed my true timeline.

Instead of doing that – when I grew up – I joined the Air Force. I joined because I grew up in a small mid-western, Bible-beltish, rural community, the 4th (and youngest) child of deaf parents (who were unable to obtain jobs above minimum wage – so we were quite, quite poor), a female with all the usual social stigmas. No one ever encouraged me to go to college (nor did I believe I could) and all I could hope for was a successful marriage. I was however, unwilling to be average and predictable. So I joined the Air Force with the hopes of seeing the world, paying my dues (patriotism) and learning things I could never hope to learn about in my hometown.

I really don’t work in Sumeria nor do I write in cuneiform. My answers when I filled out the profile questions were probably a reflection of how lost I felt and how much I wanted to go “home” at that time. I still feel a bit lost and out of place but not like I did when I filled out the profile. After I did that I went back to school. I wanted to go on to earn a degree in Anthropology. I already had a degree in Management Information Systems – so I had to take core classes first and then I could work on a Masters degree. Deep down I was hoping to become a real archaeologist but at age 50 – I would have happily settled for researcher or teacher. That dream is back on hold again – as I go back to defend my living.

Vago:  A small town Illinois girl living in Ankara, Turkey. That’s quite a change. What do you love about Ankara? What’s the most challenging part of being there?

Wynne LindenWynne: It was a huge change but I was willing to embrace it. I always welcome change and love differences. Believe it or not, the most challenging part of living in Ankara, Turkey was finding out – that I wasn’t such a hot shot at learning new languages and Turkish was proving to be quite a challenge to learn. I also lived in Adana, Turkey for a couple of years, as well. The best part of Ankara, Turkey could either be the incredibly warm and friendly people who live there (and yes, all places have “bad apples”, too) or else the amazing history that still is being uncovered throughout the countryside of Turkey, such as Ephesus, Tarsus and Gordian, Turkey! Wow!

Vago: Are you a religious or spiritual person? What role does God play in your work and your writing?

Wynne: I guess I’ll go with spiritual. Growing up, I was taught to believe that anyone who did not follow the exact teachings and interpretations of the Christian Bible such as the church I belonged to did – were doomed to die. Even the most devout Christians would go to hell if they did not do exactly as the church taught from the Bible. I believed growing up that I was doomed to go to hell because really there was no way I could die a perfect person. Needless to say, it soured my outlook on God, Christianity and all things religious. As an adult, I’ve been through a few wringers, around the blocks, up the stairs and over the hills…it’s not simple at all is it? I’ m asked to believe either that all of humanity, and all living breathing things, whether they be a single celled amoeba, a tree, a hippopotamus or a human all evolved form the the same sludge…or I am asked to believe that this being has existed since before time and randomly decided to create us. Either story has big holes in my opinion, so I spend each day questioning everyone for their answers in hopes of finally hearing the story that sounds the most true.

Vago: What’s your favorite Etta James song? Why is it your favorite?

Wynne LindenWynne: Trust in Me. I have trust issues. I don’t think of the song as me saying it to another person – I think of the song as someone saying it to me. I want (to meet) someone to sing it to me and mean it. And I want to believe that person. 🙂

Vago: You’re an air force vet (or are you active?), What did you do in the service?

Wynne: I’m not active duty. I separated in 1992 with an Honorable Discharge after 14.5 years of service. In fact, my entire career was above and beyond the call of duty (as they like to say in the awards). I separated instead of retired because I had just gotten married to a civilian who did not want to be a military spouse. Once again, that gender thing tripped me up. I was a “Telecommunications Operations Specialist”. Quite a mouthful for someone who essentially just sent emails (before the existence of emails) to bases on behalf of the various organzations on base. I’m guessing now with the Internet, Telecommunications Operations Specialist are no longer “chronically” undermanned.

Vago: Which came first, The Air Force or Information Science?

Wynne: The Air Force. How I got into IS was kinda ironic. In 1988 we had just made a contract with Zenith for 80286 desktop computers – these babies had two 5 1/4 inch floppy drives!!! There were no specialties in the Air Force for computers except maybe the mainframe operators – and the USAF had just merged them with us. So the likelihood of and wingnut having an above average interest in computers would be in our specialty and we were assigned the additional duty of taking care of the computers. (When I say “we” I mean our entire career field world wide). I was sent to work in the computer shop because the two geeks working there had terrible repoire with the “customers” especially the colonels and generals. I had just got through winning Security Manager of the Year for a large air force base under Military Airlift Command. I won it because I had been assigned the additional duty of security manager – because that particular job had been horribly neglected and they needed someone to come in and clean it up. I did more than clean it up – I made it a model for others to emulate. I had a lot of experience working with commanders on keeping their areas secure (that was my job to go in there and tell them they were not secure and needed to do this, this and that to secure the area). My boss was very interested in helping me make a great career and thought the computer customer support center was the next best place for me to go clean up. And the rest as they say is history…

Vago: What is your next project?

Wynne: That’s a sad story. Don’t want to get into that now. Survival is always a good next project, eh?

Vago: What’s your favorite number Wynne?

Wynne: 9 That was my random number assigned to me as an operator in the AF. The number always just felt right after that!

Vago: Please make a prediction of something interesting that will happen in 2013. (You aren’t accountable if it does or doesn’t happen unless you do it)

Wynne: On a personal level – I predict that 2013 – my life will finally turn back around again. On a global level – I predict that comfortable (who could band together and make change) people will continue to bury their heads in the sand as long as their own lives are comfy.