Dan Learnís story begins in a small town on the Canada-U.S. border,
where he spent most of his life growing up.
The older of two sons, Dan was born to Robert and Linda, followed
years later by his younger brother, Daryl.
The early years of Danís life saw him surrounded by a close-knit and
large extended family. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents
were always close while in Canada, while stateside, Dan and his
family stayed in a small town in the Florida Everglades with a
great-aunt and uncle every spring, as well as spending several weeks
every summer along the New Jersey coast, playing in the sand and
surf every day with his cousins.
In high school, Dan was well-known as a friendly slacker. His
grades occasionally earned him a spot on the school honour roll,
but always near the bottom. He excelled in history and business
classes, while taking a fractional interest in the math, science,
and English fields. It was during these years that Dan picked up
several important interests.
Shortly before starting high school, Dan followed in his fatherís
footsteps and picked up the guitar. He played in his first band
at the age of 13, but without any serious drive, the band split
before making any dents on the local music scene. Following that,
Dan declined becoming a permanent fixture in any groups, opting
instead to sit in with friendís bands on occasion. Dan slowly
faded from the music scene by his own choosing, and hasnít played
for an audience in several years. He continues to play and write
as a leisure pursuit, both solo and with his brother Daryl, a
and photography - two great hobbies
It was also during the high school years that Dan picked up a
camera for the first time. To encourage their sonís hobby,
Danís parents donated a Canon SLR camera to his efforts, hoping
that using older, manual equipment would make him a better
photographer. In the summer of 2000, using money earned working
as a supervisor in a local grocery store, Dan made the switch
to Nikon and Tamron equipment with the purchase of his first
professional grade camera gear. After several months of practice
and adjustment, Dan began pursuing a free-lance career that saw
several hundred photographs published by various media, both
domestically and overseas.
Although Dan always held an interest in creative writing, it
wasnít until his late teen years that this pursuit began to
take hold. After submitting a story about a school trip on
behalf of his high school, the editor of the local newspaper
hired Dan as a columnist. Dan became something of a local
fixture, keeping his space reserved for the lighter side of
life, something which won him respect and admiration, both from
the readership and newspaper community. Readers agreed with
Dan that Opinion pages needed a breath of fresh air and a
solid dose of silliness and sarcasm. Eventually, the direction
of his column became a source of disagreement between Dan and
the editorial staff, with the editors pushing for a tested
formula that sold newspapers, and Dan vying for a different
approach that kept material fresh and unique. In the spring
of 2000, Dan left his post as columnist, but remained on good
terms with his former workplace.
Dan & Robyn Learn
After high school, Dan turned down university educations in
journalism and history, opting instead to pursue the business
world. He attended Niagara College in Niagara-on-the-Lake,
Ontario, graduating in 2003 with a diploma in Business
Administration-Human Resources. It was here that he met Robyn,
an Early Childhood Education student, and his future wife.
When an industry downturn left Dan with human resources education
and experience (but not employment) in the spring of 2003, he
fell back on a retail career that had financed his way through
college. The second time around proved to be an eye-opener: Dan
became frustrated and disillusioned with the irresponsibility
and greed that dominated the thoughts and actions of retail
giants, and longed for an escape.
March 2004 saw Dan accepted into a pilot project organized amongst
the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), George Brown College,
and Canadaís railways. The projectís goal was to train railway
conductors in a post-secondary environment, versus the method of
in-house training performed by every individual railway.
Upon finishing his education in April 2005, Dan accepted a
position with Canadian National Railway, the same railway his
father and several other relatives had worked for.
Despite the responsibility of being employed full-time and still
helping to raise a growing family, Dan manages to keep active in
the writing and photography fields, which is what this website
is dedicated to.