My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
1/10. It was so difficult to live at my parents' home in the violence and abuse that they created. Back then, there was no help anywhere, no one to tell, no safety. I graduated a year early just to escape. I missed out on so many high school opportunities
Grades in high school
Mostly A's. Getting A grades meant I could not be punished for bad grades
Math. Home life was very difficult, focusing and concentrating were very difficult due to undiagnosed clinical depression and ADHD. I somehow missed some steps along the way which means years of struggling in math. Years later in my 30s, I went to a community college and took a math placement test--8th grade math. I then began two years of self-paced computer-based math courses to learn high school math. Next I took college math classes up through calculus (for math majors) just to prove to myself that I could do it. Years later when I went to grad school in clinical psychology, the calculus served me well because I needed to take statistics--nothing is ever worthless...but sometimes it takes awhile to figure out the value of what we did
Community Service / Social Activism
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
Univ of CA, Riverside
Post-graduate education or training
*Univ of IL, Urbana, Comparative Literature, MA *IL School of Professional Psychology, Chicago, PsyD Clinical Psychology with specialization in Health Psychology
Places lived in US
Places lived outside the US
Padua, Italy and Paris, France
Current occupations / past occupations
Clinical Psychologist, licensed 21 years. Previously US Army Military Psychologist, 5 years. Software Engineer 16 years. Community College Instructor of Humanities part-time can't remember how many years (was just for fun)
Industries I've worked in
- Educational Services
- Health Care and Social Assistance
- Military - active duty
Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
My doctoral training did, but otherwise, no
Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
Yes. Wanted to teach, but came of age when there were no jobs. Floundered around and became a technical writer (self-taught), took some computer science courses at a local university, learned to design and program software, became a software engineer while teaching in a community college evening program for fun, finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up and--at 37 years old--entered a doctoral program in clinical psychology. Then at 41 years old received a direct commission into the US Army and completed my re-doctoral internship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (my dream) and an additional four years as a US Army psychologist. Have had a private practice in Texas for the past 8 years where I serve Texans living in 26 rural counties
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
finding meaning in my life and serving others. Also being able to support myself and all of my pets
My definition of success has not changed over time.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
Serving as a military psychologist in the US Army in my 40s
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
Not moving to Kenya when I had the chance. I got really sick from a vaccination and chickened out. I learned that you can be scared and still move forward, that courage is not the absence of fear; it is being scared to pieces and doing it anyway
An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
I was kicked out of my parents' house the day I turned 18. I instantly became homeless and lived in my car and all kinds of other places. I had been a good kid, my parents were both terribly mentally ill and substance addicted. I still managed to go to college, graduate school, have several careers, live overseas twice, and own my own homes and businesses. I learned to be self-sufficient and to hang on to hope no matter what. There were some very terrible times, but I dug deep inside myself and found that I was stronger than I felt and could do more than I believed
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