My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
3/10. Very high stress, social life challenging.
Grades in high school
Mostly A's. in AP classes but not the top student.
Cultural / Language
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
School of Foreign Service, International Relations
Post-graduate education or training
Masters in Social Work
University of Washington
Places lived in US
California, District of Columbia (Washington D.C.), Washington
Places lived outside the US
Yes, Africa, Southeast Asia
Current occupations / past occupations
Official: program manager, community developer, NGOs & organic food purveyor
Unofficial: social artist, change agent
Industries I've worked in
- Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting
- Wholesale Trade
- Health Care and Social Assistance
Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
Somewhat - my masters. My undergrad was more high level than practical but I did enjoy my classes.
Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
Yes - discovered that I really love hospitality and hosting people, so I've moved in that direction.
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
feeling good about oneself and one's contribution, place and station in life.
My definition of success has changed over time.
When I was younger (especially when I went to [high school name omitted]), I thought my life was determined by where I went to college. I found that one's professional journey is much more complicated than where one went to school and that matters less than finding things you enjoy to do, feeling good about yourself and your life. There is still a nagging urge to accomplish but I can see it is more of a story than reality.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
Having a child. I learned things we are afraid of can be our greatest gifts. I was afraid of having children and it has been a pure joy.
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
Biggest regret was not going to the college I wanted to go to -- I went to a high prestige college instead of one that was funkier and more my style - it may have really affected my life trajectory. It helps to go with what I feel is best for me, since I have to live with my life.
An unexpected event that changed my life and how it impacted me
I had an emotional meltdown in my mid-30s that led me to move home and really start my life over. I did not expect that, but it turned out to be the greatest gift of my life. I found I was caught in stories that weren't true and shifted my own path to one of more compassion.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Thank you for doing this. I felt like [high school name omitted] was much more stressful for me than it needed to be, but I do wonder how to support young people in having socially meaningful lives while making a living especially since our old way of operating isn't working (climate change, etc). I also wish there was more support for the social experience of high school. It was a hard road. Thankfully, life does get better after high school (much better).
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My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto
Blatz on California Ave (fold-in ice cream) [now closed]