4 Things You Didn’t Know… About Pear Tree’s Directors
Talking about your own achievements touches upon certain social awkwardness. We all love to achieve things, but then feel bad about talking about them. Nevertheless, everybody needs to toot one’s horn from time to time in order to make people aware of what you’re capable of.
As you may have seen from our Teachers page (https://www.pear-tree.ca/our-teachers), our directors and teachers all have impressed backgrounds, not just educationally. However, a small column on a web page doesn’t do justice to any of us.
So, we thought it would be interesting to have a series of blog posts that tell you something that you didn’t know.
Here are 4 things you didn’t know about Paul Romani:
1. Paul is an expert in traditional Japanese martial arts
Since he was 18, Paul has studied and teaches a number of styles of traditional Japanese martial arts, including Samurai Ju-Jutsu (a blend of various traditional schools, e.g. Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu), Samurai Bujutsu, and Ninpo. Paul has held 2nd degree black belts in all of these since 2000.
In 2001, Paul travelled to Japan to further his abilities in Ninpo.
He has also written a book about Samurai Ju-Jutsu and Ninpo.
Paul used to study Yoshinkan Aikido periodically with, David Rubens, a very famous aikido instructor that studied in Japan with Gozo Shioda (a student of the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba).
While studying with Sensei Rubens, Paul met House M.D. actor, Hugh Laurie, whose son was studying aikido at the time! Paul also attended a training session with Dave Rowntree, the drummer from the Brit Pop group, Blur!
Paul is also very passionate about fitness is general, and regularly visits his local gym and goes running.
2. Paul has been the director of one of the UKs largest summer language schools
Paul has been the director of 7 UK summer language schools.
From 2007-2011, Paul was the director of a summer school at Royal Holloway near London.
This 6-week summer school at Royal Holloway originally had a maximum of 600 students and a turnover of around $1.4M (in 6 weeks).
From the time that Paul took over the management of the centre to his final year there in 2011, the summer school increased to a maximum of 1,000 students and a $3M turnover (in 6 weeks)!
Paul was responsible not only for 1,000 students (around 2,500 over the course of 6 weeks), but also a large team of 35 teachers, 35 activity staff, and 8 managers.
Thanks partly to Paul, Royal Holloway is now described as one of the smoothest running summer schools in the UK, despite it’s enormous capacity of students.
3. Paul has lived in 4 countries
Originally from England, Paul lived in Spain for 2 years (Pamplona and Granada) and in Germany for nearly 3 years (Hanover), and has now lived in Canada since 2008.
Also, Paul has travelled to 20 countries!
When he was a child, he spent 4 months living in a village called Bancaan in the Philippines.
He can speak fairly fluent Spanish.
4. Paul has built PCs that have outperformed Dell in computer magazine reviews
Not many people can say that they have built computers that have been reviewed in major computer publications.
Fewer can say that they did this alone!
Even fewer can say that these computers easily outperformed some of the world’s biggest brands, such as Dell, Fujitsu Siemens and NEC!!
This is exactly what Paul did in May 2000, when two computers he built and submitted on behalf of his employer (SMT Computer Systems) were reviewed in PC Magazine’s ‘Blockbuster Review’.
Through extensive component research and collaboration with major component manufacturers to source yet unreleased products, Paul managed to construct business and home computers that were much faster than competitors.
To this day, Paul builds all of his own computers, even the one in his office!
Our next issue of this series will be about Pear Tree’s other director, Alexis Birner!