"I started to listen to music a whole lot, and I started to read more outside of just science and technology—Shakespeare, Plato. I loved King Lear."
His other favorites included Moby-Dick and the poems of Dylan Thomas.
I asked him why he related to King Lear and Captain Ahab, two of the most willful and driven characters in literature,
but he didn't respond to the connection I was making, so I let it drop.
"When I was a senior I had this phenomenal AP English class. The teacher was this guy who looked like Ernest Hemingway.
He took a bunch of us snowshoeing in Yosemite."
One course that Jobs took would become part of Silicon Valley lore: the electronics class taught by John McCollum,
a former Navy pilot who had a showman's flair for exciting his students with such tricks as firing up a Tesla coil.
His little stockroom, to which he would lend the key to pet students, was crammed with transistors and other components he had scored.
McCollum's classroom was in a shed-like building on the edge of the campus, next to the parking lot.
"This is where it was," Jobs recalled as he peered in the window, "and here, next door, is where the auto shop class used to be."
The juxtaposition highlighted the shift from the interests of his father's generation.
"Mr. McCollum felt that electronics class was the new auto shop."
McCollum believed in military discipline and respect for authority. Jobs didn't.
His aversion to authority was something he no longer tried to hide, and he affected an attitude that combined wiry and weird intensity with aloof rebelliousness.
McCollum later said, "He was usually off in a corner doing something on his own and really didn't want to have much of anything to do with either me or the rest of the class."
He never trusted Jobs with a key to the stockroom.
One day Jobs needed a part that was not available, so he made a collect call to the manufacturer, Burroughs in Detroit,
and said he was designing a new product and wanted to test out the part.
It arrived by air freight a few days later.
When McCollum asked how he had gotten it, Jobs described—with defiant pride—the collect call and the tale he had told.
"I was furious," McCollum said. "That was not the way I wanted my students to behave."
Jobs's response was, "I don't have the money for the phone call. They've got plenty of money."
Jobs took McCollum's class for only one year, rather than the three that it was offered.
For one of his projects, he made a device with a photocell that would switch on a circuit when exposed to light, something any high school science student could have done.
He was far more interested in playing with lasers, something he learned from his father.
With a few friends, he created light shows for parties by bouncing lasers off mirrors that were attached to the speakers of his stereo system.