Ooh, ooh, ooh! I just checked out shawkins.net and saw from your bio that you grew up in South Carolina. Where? I grew up in Columbia and went to Hammond Academy. I'm seven years older than you are, so it's unlikely, but not impossible, that we have some friends or acquaintances in common.
I grew up in Aiken and North Augusta, but I went to school at U.S.C. from 1987-1992 (b.s. and m.s. not a 5 year m.s. :-) , so I'm pretty familiar with Columbia. I haven't been there in quite a while, but I still get back to Aiken pretty regularly. Towards the end of my academic career I hung out with a bunch of law students. The law school guys would have been class of 1992 as well, if I recall correctly. Were you around in that time period?