My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
10/10. High School was no where near the best time of my life, but I got along with almost everyone and enjoyed going to school every day to see my friends.
Grades in high school
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
Post-graduate education or training
Masters in Mechanical Engineering, Single Subject Teaching Credential
Places lived in US
Places lived outside the US
Current occupations / past occupations
High School Teacher, was a Mechanical Engineer
Industries I've worked in
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (e.g. Law, Accounting, Interior Design, Graphic Design, R&D, PR, Advertising, etc.)
- Educational Services
Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
At [high school name omitted] I tried to do everything: sports, theater, president of community service clubs, all the APs I could take. In college there are about 50 times as many things to do, and at first I still wanted to try to do all of them. No one made me, I didn't do them at [high school] for an application boost- I just felt like I wanted to know and do everything I could. So Sophomore year, I totally burnt out. You can't do everything. At some point you have to prioritize and make choices so that you can really enjoy and invest in the things you do choose to do.
Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
Yes, I thought I wanted to be a Mechanical Engineer, but that was not social enough for me. Being a teacher allows me to talk to hundreds of people a day and I really enjoy it a lot more.
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
Wanting to get up and out of bed everyday. At the end of the day feeling like I did even a little thing that will last into the future.
My definition of success has changed over time.
I used to think that I would want to retire super early or be a stay at home mom. Then I took a couple years off and found that I really need to work. I am happier with feeling like I do something productive everyday and the structure of a job helps me do that.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
I am a teacher, and seeing students learn something new feels like an accomplishment. Yesterday they figured out how to light a lightbulb with just a battery and a paperclip.
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
Going back to Palo Alto for a job. I found that it was an incredibly unforgiving and unrealistic place. It really undermined my confidence and almost made me give up on my new career. But after getting a job in San Jose, I found out that most places and people are not like that. For me at least, I could be much happier elsewhere where the pressure wasn't as insane and people were more supportive and understanding of the growth process.
An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
My father died by suicide. Most of what had lead to his mental health issues was being tossed around by big companies periodic layoffs after putting every ounce of his soul into his work. It made me realize that public companies have no loyalty to you as a person, so you shouldn't try to be loyal to them either. I think that set me up in a strong position to not be abused by middle managers who wanted people to work unnecessarily long hours. I learned how to say "No" to others to protect my own mental health.
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My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto
The backyards of friends.