October 15, 2008

My Past Life

Where have they come from, I can not say, but I bet they've come a long long way. - Dr. Seuss
Where I am now is do drastically different than what I ever imagined it is often comical!

I went to a good high school and knew from the start I would go to college. I actually remember learning of a friend who was graduating a few years before me who was NOT going off to college. I remember being completely confused by this concept. What was this person going to do with their life...work at McDonald's!? At that point in my life, college and jobs were a black and white issue. The correct path was go to college and get a good job. The wrong path was do not go to college and live in a box. So off to college I went. I spent four fantastic years at the University of Rochester and graduated with a degree in Molecular Genetics...and now needed a job. I had been working at various part time jobs since I was 16 but now this was the real deal.

My first job was in the lab of one of my professors. It was a small lab and I worked closely with one of the graduate students. It was an excellent learning curve/confidence gaining situation. The project I was working on lost its funding which put me at an intersection...continue working and hope our funding would be reinstated or look for a new job. I chose B. This decision brought me to an HIV research lab at Strong Hospital.

Here I was doing both research and clinical work. Here are two papers from my time in the lab:

So here I was minding my own business, working 40 hours a week, teaching dance, and playing volleyball. I assumed I would end up married to a college graduated professional, raise a few kids in a nice housing development while I continued my work. Enter Justin, fast forward time.

The most scientific thing I have done lately (aside from teaching at Academy) is read a butterfly book to Katrina during "B" week of preschool. I've thought about playing volleyball again but haven't played competitively in four years. I certainly don't live in a development and I don't work outside the home.

I'm often asked if I would do it again knowing how things ended up; would I go to college (spend the time and money)? ABSOLUTELY! Your past makes you what you are today. I'm very thankful for all of my "failed" plans. I wouldn't trade the past nor would I trade the present.

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