Gertrude Stein - This joy you feel is life!

My time in high school

Attended high school in the
1970s

Overall high school experience
8/10. The resources and possibilities were extraordinary. We thought it completely normal to have 2 periods of music electives, a free period in the middle of the day, daily foreign language (Spanish, French, German, Latin), English and History classes taught in your foreign language if you had already had 3 years (and materials from Spain and Mexico) - we knew that voters, parents, teachers, our community really cared about our education and believed in us. That changed so quickly with Prop 13. One thing missing? Pre-Title lX, so few opportunities for sports for girls.

Grades in high school
A's and B's

 

Favorite subjects
English, History / Social Studies, Foreign Language, Performing Arts

Struggled with...
Math - just didn't care.

Favorite extracurricular
Music


Life since high school

I used to think of success as defined by a series of milestones and check marks that could be seen from the outside....now I realize it’s something I feel at the end of the day and deep inside.

Attended college / university at
UC Berkeley

Majored in
Sociology

Post-graduate education or training
Master of Public Health (UCB) and Doctor of Public Health (UCB)

Places lived in US
California

Places lived outside the US
We have spent significant time in Mexico over the past 15 years.

Current occupations / past occupations
Professor of public health

Industries I've worked in
- Educational Services
- Higher Education

Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
Yes - gave me language skills, intellectual discipline, curiosity, writing skills, confidence for leadership

Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
I started college as a music major but found social sciences so compelling that I couldn't do both well.


A little introspection...

To me, being successful means...
that I honored the gifts, opportunities, and trust I was given.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
I used to think of success as defined by a series of milestones and check marks that could be seen from the outside....now I realize it's something I feel at the end of the day and deep inside.

An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
My first husband took his own life when he was 28, I was 26. I can't put in an electronic survey box all of the ways or how deeply this changed my life, but it did, profoundly and forever. The path back to confident action was long and delayed while I gathered courage to even understand what had happened, and what it would mean to have survived his choice. That was nearly 40 years ago, and just 7 years after I graduated from [high school]. Although I do not seek it out, there is a special bond among people who live beyond the suicide of a loved one - I can bear witness to that grief if needed by young people from Palo Alto.

Anything else you'd like to share?
Powerful memory - the entire student body gathering in the Quad to hear the live broadcast of the Draft Lottery - we had a giant chart of all of the senior boys' names and birthdays, and we followed along - our entire campus community - as literally, their numbers were called.


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