My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
6/10. I struggled with self esteem, thought I was incredibly stupid because I didn't have a 4.5 GPA and felt like I didn't fit in with a lot of groups, but I did find an absolutely wonderful group of friends, many of whom I am still in touch with, and found my niche.
Grades in high school
A's and B's. I struggled with math, but excelled in English, history, general science, music and many other subjects. Because of my difficulties with math, the [high school name omitted] administration wanted to put me in B lane science and English, and I had to fight my way out of that.
English, History / Social Studies, Foreign Language, Physical Education, Music
Math was the only subject that was truly difficult for me. I don't know why, that has always been a source of frustration. Basic algebra and geometry are fine, but trigonometry, advanced algebra, complicated equations just make no sense, and I didn't even attempt calculus.
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
Classical Civilizations with a minor in History. Phi Beta Kappa, Dean's Honor List and Cum Laude.
Post-graduate education or training
Masters in Greek and Roman Archaeology, Princeton University
Places lived in US
California, New Jersey
Places lived outside the US
Current occupations / past occupations
Retail store owner
Industries I've worked in
- Retail Trade
Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
My education taught me to think critically, to analyze problems, to research solutions, to document evidence and to always seek more knowledge. It did not specifically prepare me, but it very much taught me to use my brain.
Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
Starting as an undergrad, my goal was to become a professor at a university. In the middle of my PhD program in grad school, I decided this no longer was what I wanted to do with my life, and quit. I got very lucky and now I am a successful small business owner.
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
Having fulfilling relationships with family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and acquaintances; being able to provide for your family by doing something that feels valuable and beneficial; being the best person that you can be, and constantly striving to be even better.
My definition of success has changed over time.
I have been blessed materially, through a combination of really good luck and hard work, but I have become convinced that at least part of my success has been due to the way I choose to treat others. Growing up in Palo Alto, there was such emphasis placed upon money as a measure of success, I was lucky that my family always reminded me that money is not everything and that people are more important.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
My biggest accomplishment has been running a successful business with the love of my life after deciding to quit an Ivy League PhD program. Again, so much of this is due to luck and good fortune, being in the right place at the right time, but also making decisions that felt right, and working hard to achieve goals that might, from the outside, seem to be crazy. Just because you are doing something that others judge to be prestigious and valued, does not mean that this is right for YOU, and it does not mean that this is the only path to success, fulfillment and happiness.
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
My biggest mistakes, the moments that I dwell on in the middle of the night when I can't sleep, are the times that I have, as an employer, treated employees in ways that have lead to them becoming dissatisfied with their job. My choices were made due to inexperience or ignorance, not malice, and some of the employees really were not cut out for the job, but I could have done things differently. I have very much made it a goal to learn as much as I can about being an effective, fair and decent manager of people. I am always learning new ways to handle situations, new perspectives, and new skills.
An unexpected event that changed my life and how it impacted me
At age 27, I got sick and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an incurable autoimmune disease. In the space of a month I went from being a normal 27 year old to not being able to walk, tie my shoes or use my hands and was in constant pain. My life as I knew it was over, and I thought I would be confined to a wheelchair by the time I was 30. Luckily, through the care of a really fantastic doctor and good medication, I am doing fine now, and most days no one can tell I have this disease. But at 27, I was forced to reevaluate my life, my goals, my everything, and to depend upon others to help me function. I think this forced me to really learn to trust others, most importantly, my boyfriend at the time, now husband, and my doctor.
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My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto
My parents' house. ??