Friday, August 12, 2011

Pioneering Today: Education

Lindsay is my guest pioneer today, and she hails from a private family blog. Lindsay and I met when she moved to Idaho State University. We are buddies. Every end of semester I would got to her and have her braid my hair into cornrows. No fuss hair. She has always been a great cheerleader and a super-loyal friend to anyone she calls friend. She has never been a quitter in school, relationships, family, or love.
I always knew I would go to college.  I wouldn't say that it was a requirement or even expected in my family.  It was encouraged, but I never felt that if I decided not to go that I'd be kicked out of the family.  It's hard to describe, but it's just one of the things you did.  I think it comes from being in a family of educators.  My parents are teachers, my mom's dad, stepmother and brothers were teachers, my dad's sisters are teachers, you get the idea.  We, ourselves, were not allowed to be teachers, at least not as our primary job.

Anyway, when I moved to Utah at the age of 16 and would tell my friends about my plans to go to school, it never occurred to me that it wasn't ok until I saw their reactions.  I actually had a friend once tell me that it was an "unrighteous" choice to go to school and not plan to get married after high school.  I don't know if there were talks then from general authorities about women getting an education, but I remember a number of them while I was in college getting one.  What I didn't know then, was how going thru the college experience and getting the degrees I did would lead me to where I am today.
ISU Valentine's Day - Lindsay, Mr. Awesome, Lisa, and Me
I started out at Dixie College in St. George, Utah with the ambition to be a pharmacist.  That hope was dashed when I got to Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho and never got into pharmacy school.  I finished my BS in Microbiology and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah to start working, with the goal of entering physician's assistant (PA) school after a year of working.
Lindsay and Me - Thanksgiving 2009 - Many years after ISU
The Thanksgiving after I graduated from ISU, my grandfather told me that I should look at getting a master's degree.  When I explained my plans of PA school, he thought it was a good idea, but that I should look into something else as well.  Being that I just finished my BS and had a good job, I was a little discouraged, especially with the idea of having to write a thesis.  Luckily, I found a program at the University of Utah in which I wouldn't have to write one.

During my last semester of my master's program, I was invited to interview at the Arizona School of Health Science for the (PA) program.  I made the alternate list, but that's as far as I got.  I tried again the next year, but didn't even get an interview.  At that point I had been at the same job for over three years and was ready for a change.  I started thinking about looking for a new job.  A former co-worker was leaving for medical school and suggested I apply for his job at a different section of the reference lab I worked at.  I applied, with a lot of coaxing from friends, and a few weeks later I was offered the job, and I moved to the basement of the building where I had a cubicle, my own desk, my own computer, my own phone and an AMAZING boss!

After a couple of years I was starting to get board again, and my brother suggested that I look at going to medical school, since he was having so much fun.  I took the MCAT a couple of times, but didn't do well, so I didn't bother applying.  In the meantime I was talking to medical testing vendors that I had worked with.  One of them asked for my resume and forwarded it on to her company's HR.  A couple of months later I was working for a new company, still working at the lab I was familiar with most of the time, but also traveling the west coast of the United States, with occasional trips to the east side of the US and out of the country.  The company had me on a track to become a manager of a region, and I was contemplating the possibility of going to nursing school.
Lindsay and Hubby on their wedding day

Before I either of those could happen, I got married, instantly became a mom to 2 beautiful little girls, quit my job and moved to a foreign country.  Never in a million years would I have thought I would be where I am today, but the degrees I got opened doors I never would have dreamed of, and possibilities that I never knew existed.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Sounds like your friend had some really interesting experiences.