Musician, Teacher, Adventurer, Mother

My time in high school

Attended high school in the

Overall high school experience
10/10. I think my education at [high school name omitted] was enlightening, enriching, intellectually stimulating, and superior to what students experience today in many ways, especially in the liberal arts areas.

Grades in high school
Mostly A's. I studied and did homework every night and many weekends I also practiced my instrument (piano) daily from the age of 5, and am still an active musician and performer today.


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

Struggled with...
I don't remember struggling in any subject, but I did do my homework consistently.

Favorite extracurricular

Life since high school

An important lesson I learned was that through failure, one often comes through the experience in a better place eventually, though it was totally unexpected at the time of trial.

Attended college / university at
My first year of college was at UC Santa Barbara. I was not admitted to Stanford as a freshman, but that was my goal, so I reapplied and was accepted as a sophomore, and graduated from Stanford on time three years later.

Post-graduate education or training
I have a Master's degree in Music, and have taken many courses over the years, mostly in music and education. In fact, if I had planned it better, I would have a doctorate degree, having taken enough credits for that.

Places lived in US
California, Oregon, Washington

Places lived outside the US
No, but have traveled for extended times in Asia (Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea)

Current occupations / past occupations
In chronological order since high school: private piano teacher, accompanist (piano and organ), food service, secretarial (work-study), music teacher (Yamaha Music School, ages 4-7), parent, sales/marketing/secretarial and entrepreneur in import/export wholesale business, performer (musician) with professional woodwind quartet, accompanist for various choirs, theater groups, church musician (choir director, handbell director, organist, pianist), assistant director for a premier boys choir, teaching assistant (piano) at Washington State University, band and choir director, music teacher in schools in CA, OR, WA.
Have also taught German, Chinese, language arts, social studies, reading and math in public schools.
Volunteer work: Director of a local symphony board, president of a women's educator association, member of local groups advocating animal rights, sustainable living, gardening.

Industries I've worked in
- Wholesale Trade
- Retail Trade
- Transportation and Warehousing
- Real Estate Rental and Leasing
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (e.g. Law, Accounting, Interior Design, Graphic Design, R&D, PR, Advertising, etc.)
- Management of Companies and Enterprises
- Administrative and Support Services
- Educational Services
- Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
- Accommodation and Food Services
- Nonprofit

Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
Yes and no. I think my preparation in high school was excellent, including learning/lessons done outside of school, but I have learned much along the way, in school and out of school and continue my life-long education even now in my sixties.

Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
Goodness yes. Please see above! I think every student should realize that they will find they will probably have more than one career in their lifetime, and possibly several careers.

A little introspection...

To me, being successful means...
A loving family, good friends, good health, financial security, a positive attitude, enjoying life.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
Yes and no. I believe these goals were always there, just not articulated in my consciousness earlier in life.

My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
I am most proud of my five children, who have grown into adulthood and all have made positive contributions to our planet in diverse ways as unique as they are themselves. I am also proud of my lifetime as a teacher and hopefully made a positive contribution to the next generations I have taught.

My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
I believe my early marriage, which ended in divorce, was probably a mistake, but on the other hand, my children from that marriage are my greatest joy. So, was it a mistake or wasn't it? I can't really answer the question. 

An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
There were many, and I haven't lived the life I imagined for myself as a high school student. I planned to be a professional musician and teacher, and eventually did both of those, but also was a stay-at-home mom when my children were young, worked in business, traveled world-wide, experienced successes and failures in business and education careers, went back to graduate school in my forties, and moved out of state and to more communities than I ever imagined I would. An important lesson I learned was that through failure, one often comes through the experience in a better place eventually, though it was totally unexpected at the time of trial.

This alumni is open to your questions and follow-ups.
In order to protect anonymity, we will pass along your message and they can choose whether to respond.

My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto

Folk dancing on Friday nights at Tressider Union Building at Stanford. A favorite (and cheap) date with my high school boyfriend!