Turlock High School, 1997-2001
Patrick spent a good amount of his life in Turlock, California. Looking back, he really appreciates what he learned from Mr. Hoskins in high school, because of the way that he taught his students in the Electrical Engineering Technology Program at Turlock High School in California. Hoskins would make the classes as hard or as easy as possible for the specific student, depending upon their skill level.
Hoskins required that every student keep a portfolio, which encompassed TQM processes for projects that were required, based on the year in the program. So, for an example, for team work, we would have to Brainstorm, Flowchart, and report based on what we did, and provide evidence based on what we did in each project. Hoskins would identify what each group member contributed to the works in each of our portfolios. For an example, each of us would be required to partake in the team exercises, as well as work on individualized work for our portfolio. I remembered that he would fail students if they didn't bring their portfolio to class on the right day. And he really failed students for not bringing their portfolio.
Patrick McElhiney reclaimed his academic life in 2000, overcoming his vast medical hardship the previous year from Chronic Transformed Migraines, which he continues to have minor issues with through the day of this publishment (8/16/2017).
He went to the Winter Formal, for which he was highly criticized for his last-minute hair-do.
He went to the Prom in his Senior Year of high school.
Patrick helped to polish a small disc-shaped mirror that was launched aboard the United States Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL) Student Tracked Atmospheric Research Satellite Heuristic International Networking Experiment (STARSHINE-2) under the advisement of Robert G. Staley, a previous employee of NASA, who assisted in teaching the Electronics Engineering and Applied Physics courses at Turlock High School along with Robert Hoskins.
McElhiney became an expert at Printed Circuit Board etching, a process that uses laser-printed "Press N Peel" transfer sheets that were ironed onto copper-clad boards and soaked overnight in etching solution to remove the areas that were not covered by the transfer paper. He created a custom network-tester tool using components he purchased at Radio Shack, to test the continuity between a wire with two RJ-45 connectors that plugged into the tester. He also created a custom timing circuit that was used to launch amateur rocket engines after counting down, visually, from 99 to 00. That circuitry used two 7514 integrated circuit chips with lots of diodes.
Patrick was in an Applied Physics class taught by Robert Hoskins, in which he learned how to control various weights and measurements, including learning how to calculate speed, acceleration / deceleration, gravity, timing, length / width / height, surface area, volume, torque, elevation, and other metrics, including of moving objects such as vehicles, and fluids in motion.
McElhiney spent most of his Junior year in High School in and out of hospitals, including Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock, and a 23-day hospitalization in the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Stanford, CA because of his onset of Chronic Daily Migraine / Chronic Transformed Migraine. It nearly killed him because of the possibility of seizures (according to a doctor at Stanford Children's Hospital), because doctors prescribed him high doses of Demerol every 3-4 hours to deal with an intractable migraine. He believes the doses of Demerol went as high as 150MG.
Patrick learned to cope with his migraines as best as possible, even considering how severe they were. He was taught how to use bio-feedback at Stanford Children's Hospital, along with very carefully tuned physical therapy.
Some kids in Patrick's electronics class were talking about building a bomb, and they were searching the Internet in school to locate information about how to go about doing this. One of the sources they were looking at was the Anarchist Cookbook. Patrick told the teacher about this. Later, Patrick learned that they had actually built one and set it off out in a field, and the FBI responded by dispatching a helicopter. It was clear Patrick's tip led to tip off the FBI that they were planning on committing a crime, but it was their actions that led to their arrest and prosecution. Patrick thinks this was an issue of confusion in one of the student's minds, because the student later hit Patrick over the head with a rock after school. Patrick blacked out, and showed up to his mom's car late. He didn't tell her or the teacher that he was assaulted because he feared even worse repercussions. Patrick later learned this was inevitable, when his laptop was damaged after the same individual kicked Patrick's backpack and broke the LCD screen. Patrick had no course of action at this point, since he was notified prior to bringing the laptop to school that it was on the condition that if anything happened to it, he would be responsible. It is clear to Patrick that this student would not have been attending the school had he reported all of the actions that were taken against Patrick by this individual. The blackout occurred before Patrick had migraines.
Patrick McElhiney did complete his Algebra 3-4 class, which he scored an A in, which was astonishing because Patrick generally wasn't a math wizard prior to him developing his migraines. Something in the pain medications (Vicodin, Norco, etc.) he was prescribed for his Chronic Transformed Migraines improved his ability to concentrate on difficult tasks, such as calculating mathematical formulas.
Patrick McElhiney had a fairly normal Sophomore year in High School. He was in Advanced Wood Working class, which he did very well in, and he started in Electronics with instructor Robert Hoskins. Patrick learned and adopted the ways of Total Quality Management in Electronics 1-2, which involved a process of brainstorming, flowcharting, Venn diagraming, fishbone diagrams, and other types of diagrams and documentation to state a problem and create a solution, usually in groups of 3-4 students. Patrick acted as the head of each of his projects, putting in extra time to develop his electronics portfolio for which he was largely graded upon.
A student who was obsessed with a girl who Patrick thought liked him at the time seemed to get jealous, and created a website that was threatening Patrick with blackmail. It used an old yearbook picture, and was basically making fun of Patrick. He believes the website was called the Anti-Patrick McElhiney website. It wasn't very creative, and it was playing on the title of a website that was created with a friend from Orchestra class, called the Anti-THS website (THS meaning Turlock High School). Patrick later took the website down, at the request of his electronics teacher, but it didn't go viral until about a year after it was created. Patrick was surprised that it took so long for it to go viral, and there wasn't a lot of creativity to it. The website basically made fun of the high school and the school's newspaper. It wasn't attacking anyone personally, unlike the website created to attack Patrick.
Patrick started playing StarCraft in his second year at Turlock High School. He played with his friends, Josh Pope, and Shawn Nelson, among other students.
Patrick started to form his company in 1999, during his Sophomore year in high school. It revolved around his knowledge of HTML, which he learned through the development of various websites, such as his Metallica fan website that he developed in Jr. High School, and the Anti-THS website. His first client was T.N.T. Productions Disc Jockey Service, for which he designed the first website for in 1999 using nothing more than his knowledge of HTML coding, using notepad.exe to write his code. He used Microsoft Paint to develop his graphics.
McElhiney had a challenging Freshman year at Turlock High School. He found it difficult to fit into any specific group of students. He spent a lot of time with the band students, even though he wasn't in band class anymore. He had a falling out with the jazz band instructor, Mr. Barios, because he wanted him to only play electric bass in Jazz band, and Patrick wouldn't play electric without the possibility of playing String bass with an electronic pick-up system as well. That was the only reason that Patrick McElhiney didn't join the Turlock High School Jazz Band.
Patrick McElhiney excelled in his music studies, however politics enforced by the Turlock High School Orchestra Director caused Patrick to quit music entirely, simply because he was being required to participate in music functions that were too easy, and complicated his schedule, for which he would not have been allowed to participate in any of his other Honor Orchestras or the CSUS Orchestra without playing String Bass in the classes and events that were so easy to him that he could fall asleep during them. The Orchestra Director later told Patrick that he was extremely gifted, and she wanted him to play in the Turlock High School orchestra again, however Patrick knew that there was no room to grow there. He was constantly getting in trouble for goofing off, because he couldn't take the class seriously because of how easy it was to him. It wasn't an issue of an ego - it was an issue of trying to teach an Einstein of musical prodigy talents how to compute 2 + 2 = 4.