Here’s What Braden Thinks You Should Know
Hello, there! (If you know, you know.)
My name’s Braden Norwood, and I’m the Content and SEO Specialist for VTR Learning. I’ve been here since early 2017 in a variety of roles. And even though I love working in digital marketing, I never would have imagined myself ending up in this sphere. As a three-year-old, I was dead-set on paleontology – digging up dinosaur fossils. Moreover, I have a degree from Oklahoma Baptist University in philosophy and biblical studies. So, my interests are a bit eclectic and all over the place.
I was born and raised in Owasso, Oklahoma, though I now live in Shawnee. I’m an avid reader of books, comics and manga, a dedicated Star Wars fan, and a lover of good music. In fact, I’ve played guitar for nearly sixteen years. I also spend a bit too much time on video games. But as any good philosopher would, I have some arguments for why they’re beneficial.
My wife and I run a site called Scissortail Guild, which we use as an outlet to discuss all things nerdy. But we also love getting outdoors, whether that’s hiking or spending time in the back yard with our son.
We Asked Braden Five Questions
Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the world?
Honestly, my answer to this question probably changes with the wind. Unfortunately, I’ve had few out-of-country trips, even though I have a strong desire to see different places. Growing up, the immediate answer would have been Australia. But as I’ve gotten older, my interest in world history – particularly classical Greece and Rome – have made my traveling focus shift toward the Mediterranean region. If I had to pin down an answer, I would love to travel in Greece and Turkey. But I also hope to see other places like the UK and Egypt someday.
What’s some of the best advice you’ve received?
I don’t know whether this counts, but one mantra I’ve accidentally started living by is “taking the middle way”. That is, the idea that it’s better to be in the center than on either extreme end of a subject. In a time and culture that’s so easily polarized to opposite ends of conflict, there’s a need for people to see both sides. And while no person can complete escape their personal bias and blind spots, it’s good to try. In other words, attempt putting yourself in someone else’s shoes before condemning the way they think. Because without a mind to resolve conflict, we’ll never get anywhere.
What’s your favorite book?
Honestly, this question just isn’t fair – there are too many to choose from. I have a large collection of Star Wars books and a sizeable Ted Dekker section as well. I guess it really depends on the type of book we’re talking about. As far as fiction, I really enjoy the Darth Bane trilogy by Drew Karphyshyn. It’s a well-written, fun set of novels. But naturally, it has a hard time standing up to classics like The Lord of the Rings and others. As for non-fiction, I really appreciate different works by John Walton and N.T. Wright, though I’m always up for a good true crime story as well.
Who is your favorite super hero?
That’s another difficult question, with so many to choose from. Especially since there are different versions of various characters. I really like Spider-Man, because he is the quintessential embodiment of character growth. And beyond that, he battles some of the coolest villains, like Venom and Carnage. Alternatively, the Ultimate Universe Kitty Pryde has a really cool story arc that I enjoy quite a bit. However, as for overall favorite super hero, Wolverine might have to take the cake. His powers are ferocious, his history is tragic, and different writers have done so much to flesh out his character in unique ways.
What’s the best part of working at VTR Learning?
Hands-down, the people are the best part of working here. Because our team is small, we have the opportunity to work closely with one another. This means we make strategic decisions together, fail together and succeed together. There’s a culture of trust between us, and as self-starters, each person knows how to navigate their responsibilities well. Beyond that, VTR Learning offers a wealth of room for growth, both professionally and personally. The freedom we have to explore our individual roles allows room to invest in new skills and find new interests. But most of all, working here is like working with family, and I’m extremely grateful to be a part of this team.