Disco Jason

Disco is a Latin verb that means to know, or to learn, as in discover. This website will let you disco me a bit more. It’s a work in progress, a way for me to practice writing a narrative memoir and keep my fingers dipped in website design and SEO. All blogs are full of mistakes and run on sentences with irreverent facts about things like Latin verbs.

Please see my LinkedIn Page for a more traditional curriculum vitae, or scroll down to disco more.

I’m Jason Ian Partin, a semi-retired magician, mountaineering guide, consultant, and what most people call “teacher,” though I prefer facilitator, co-learner, lead-learner, or coach. You can see me performing sleight-of-hand magic around town or at Hollywood’s Magic Castle.

Previously, I had invented a handfull of medical devices and cofounded a few biotech companies that were acquired; that, and my love of performing magic as a fall-back to pay bills, led to early retirement, which led to me leading courses in engineering, innovation, and entrepreneurship at a couple of universities, and to consulting for corporate quality assurance and continuous improvement.

As a volunteer, I worked with national nonprofits facilitating equitable education through entrepreneurship and project-based learning; and I was a Court Appointed Special Advocate for three kids trapped in the San Diego foster system. Nationally, about 400,000 kids are in recognized foster care, and probably two or three times that many are living with extended family or friends and are therefore untracked and unfunded by our government. The system sucks. Of those who emancipate from the system and are legally adults but without a family foundation that many politicians take for granted, 85% have been shown to end up in jail – around 30% before they are 21. Of those in prison, they, like other prisoners, have about an 80% chance of returning. Of all emancipated foster youths, only 15% attend college, and fewer than 3% attend graduate school. Being an emancipated foster kid is, statistically speaking, more of a disadvantage socio-economically than being black, white, hispanic, Asian, etc.

I was emancipated at age 16. I got lucky.

I joined the army at age 16 and left for basic training at age 17. I served in the first Gulf war and then a few years on two president’s quick reaction forces as part of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, and in 1993 I was granted a diplomatic passport to serve as a peacekeeper in a multinational force stationed in the Middle East; by looking at current news, it’s obvious we didn’t succeed.

I was honorably discharged and used the college fund to attend college. During undergraduate studies, I was co-captain of LSU’s wrestling team and – to pay bills – I was a performer of sleight-of at local casinos, and worked a few night shifts as an ambulance emergency medical technician. (I was a night-owl, so midnight ambulance shifts and performing at 24 hour casinos made sense at the time.) I graduated with an engineering degree and a few fancy latin words behind it in 1997, and I was awarded a master’s and more latin words in 1999.

In 2001, I learned that in 1996 American patent laws had changed and simplified the process to a measly $100 provisional patent fee. Armed with that knowledge and using my engineering education and EMT experience, I invented and patented a few medical devices, cofounded companies, yada-yada-yada…

Most people who know me for a while say the most remarkable thing that pops up about me is my family history. My grandfather was Edward Grady Partin Senior, the Teamster leader who sent Jimmy Hoffa to prison and is considered one of the people involved in President Kennedy’s assassination, and he’s portrayed in most Hoffa films and discussed in almost all Hoffa books.

Part of the reason I was in the foster system was that Hoffa’s men and several mafia bosses were trying to kidnap, threaten, or intimidate us so that my grandfather would change his testimony. It’s a long story. That’s why I’m working on a memoir about my family history a little bit at a time, using this web site to learn-by-doing; hence, lots of typos and run-on sentences.

Contact me to brainstorm or to collaborate.


Jason Ian Partin