I just wanted to let you know that I wasn't ignoring your thread -- not on purpose anyway. I took more than a week off and today is the first day back. Excellent thread here, btw. Thanks for sharing more of your background. I can't believe how similar our stories are. I thought you had found my bio and plagiarized.
For the record, I was also born and raised JW, baptized at 10, a book-worm, studied math, science, and old WTS publications. Vacation pioneered often since I was 10, started regular pioneering at 15. (Would've been in the graduating class of '75, but took the GED instead when I turned 16). My father, the "PO," might've pushed me into his own field, electrical engineering, except that he had a vague belief that around 1975 would see the end. My father hedged his bet a bit on my education and got me a pass to the University Library. Most of my Bible studies were with college students. There were unlimited Bible Studies available on campus. I even gave free calculus tutoring to a couple of my Bible Studies. (As awful as this sounds, I would even extend the amount of time I would count, as long as I remembered to intersperse a few encouraging words about "Jehovah" and "attending the meetings".)
My own belief in '75=Armageddon was already non-existent since '74, but I still kept to a plan of 4 years Reg Pio, and 4 years of Bethel. In pure JW terms, I was an apostate in my last 2.5 years of Bethel, running with the "worst/best" of them, but somehow hid in plain view for another couple years even after Bethel. I was never an elder, but had a couple assembly talks, and had a whole "repetoire" of those unconventional Public Talks that I got requested to give in several congregations around NYC. I knew my congregation was finally making its move against me when they said they were uncomfortable with me giving so many talks in other congregations without their permission. For some reason, I got caught up in that game of thinking I could help promote Christian reforms from the inside, and say whatever I wanted in my talks and comments as long as it was ambiguous enough for no one to bring an accusation. They never actually made an accusation, but when it became obvious that they had pressure from "Headquarters" to report on my every word, I wrote a quick DA letter as my "escape claws."
I finally got onto the college track in '82 before I officially left the JWs. It was a breath of fresh air. I hadn't realized just how much I was suffocating amongst the JWs. Chronologically, I've almost got half my life back (2007?). Psychologically? I'm not sure I'll live that long.