UC Berkeley, Speech Pathologist, Writer, Podcaster, Parent

My time in high school

Attended high school in the

Overall high school experience
9/10. I loved my friends, and my friends' parents, who engaged us with interesting conversation and shared what they did for a living. And they all did amazing things. Also, everyone at my high school was very nice. There were clicks, but there was some fluidity between them. And there was no bullying. The teachers were very nice and approachable and they treated us like adults.

Grades in high school
A's and B's. I also had two C's, and I try to block them out!


Favorite subjects
Math. I don't feel like I'm a good student. I tried hard in a lot of subjects. Math definitely came the most easily to me, though. English was the easiest to "scrape by" in, but I don't feel proud about that.

Struggled with...
I think I struggled with biology. I think I told myself I'm not good at memorizing, and I also didn't like memorizing. For this reason, foreign language was also hard, but the concepts were simpler.

Favorite extracurricular
Sports / Recreation

Life since high school

My education might have over-prepared me, and it’s hard to find a career that I find as stimulating as my education.

Attended college / university at
UC Berkeley

Majored in
Cognitive Science

Post-graduate education or training
Continuing Education after undergraduate, then a postbaccalaureate degree, then a masters degree, then a clinical fellowship

Places lived in US
California, Washington

Places lived outside the US
I have not, but I wish I did.

Current occupations / past occupations
I am "paid" to be a speech-language pathologist. I also am a writer and striving to be a podcaster. I'm also a parent. In the past, I was in machine learning, for automatic speech recognition.

Industries I've worked in
- Nonprofit
- Health Care and Social Assistance
- Educational Services
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (e.g. Law, Accounting, Interior Design, Graphic Design, R&D, PR, Advertising, etc.)

Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
My education might have over-prepared me, and it's hard to find a career that I find as stimulating as my education.

Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
Yes it changed drastically. I was on the path to be a math professor, but took a class about how the mind understands math and switched my major to cognitive science. I was introduced to linguistics, did machine learning and then stumbled across speech and hearing sciences. I'm not sure how I feel about all this! 

A little introspection...

To me, being successful means...
feeling good about who I am, about others, and about what I do.

My definition of success has changed over time. 
Before, I think it meant finding a job I like.

My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
I haven't accomplished much! Maybe I feel best about my masters thesis, which I wrote under the supervision of a famous researcher and so I got to use a lot of cutting edge resources. It helped me learn how to complete a long-term project, to let go of perfectionism, and to get something done. I also am happy about writing short stories in an online community for the past 6 years or so. It's helped me learn to stick to a habit even if I'm not "feeling it" because committing and showing up makes a difference. What I feel most proud of is having an infant to care for. I've learned about myself, the way I respond to situations, and how I express my emotions, because of her. I also had no idea that having a kid would be this much fun.

My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
I think I regret not double-majoring. When I was half way through with one major, I switched majors. I also wish it were easier for me to switch careers into a more analytical career path, but it's hard to career hop into these fields without starting at a very entry-level position. Another mistake is that I sometimes continue close friendships with people that I don't always feel super close to anymore. Why do I do that?! Time is short, and I think it's important to just close the book on certain things. It's hard for me to say "no" to hanging out sometimes, even though I'd like more alone-time to work on my own projects. I wish I spent more time on my own projects...a LOT.

An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
Getting into a serious relationship and getting married to someone seriously changed my life. I have enjoyed companionship, even though he can get be quite moody. He suffers from depression and anxiety, and this can be very, very challenging for both of us. But he is seeking help and things are getting slowly better. Also, I moved back to the Bay Area after completing graduate school and now I work here. But I sometimes wish I could get out of this area and try something totally new. Living in a forested area? Living in a more rural area? Or a historic town? I don't know. But it super nice here and I could be more grateful rather than thinking the grass is always greener somewhere else. But with the drought, it is usually greener somewhere else! Womp womp.