For those of you who have been along for this ride, thanks for hanging in there. Only two more months to go...unless I decide to go for "Zero to Sixty and Beyond," in a Buzz Lightyear-ish sort of way. Your thoughts??
But back to the present, or, rather back to the past.
- After the fire, I decided to change careers. I'd begun to burn out on my work at the hospitals, and moving away from Oakland helped me make the decision to leave my job and start retooling. In 1994, my daughter was starting her junior year in high school and beginning the college search process. I happened to leaf through a copy of the UC Berkeley Extension catalog, and found a two-year program in college counseling. Hmmmm. Counseling, college...it was interesting and timely. So, I enrolled in my first class. I loved it from the beginning.
- I got my first job as a college and career advisor at Campolindo High School in Moraga. This was the most fun job I ever had--before or since. Great co-workers, faculty, kids. Working at a high school was a lot like...high school. And lucky me-- I got to hang out with the cool kids. We had our own hangout at lunch, we celebrated birthdays (bring your own cake so you'd be sure to have one!), we hassled each other mercilessly, and pulled some pretty awesome pranks involving neckties and Roman numerals. Long story. But I stayed there for seven years--my longest run at any job-- and I still stop by to get hugs and say hi every so often. Cougars rule!
- As an outgrowth of a class project, I wrote my first book, called Road Scholar: An Investigative Journal for the College-Bound Student.
- I self-published this little journal and managed to keep selling it for the next ten years. These days, it would make a better "app," probably. That's progress, I guess. But I loved this book--Caitlin and I road tested it on our college tours. I wrote it partly for myself as a way to keep track of where we were supposed to be when, and what we remembered about each place we saw. The logistics of these trips had me in a state! More than one state...
|Oregon: Yes, I did drive the wrong way down a one-way street in this car.|
|The autumn leaves in Northampton, Mass.|
- We had a lot of fun on those tours: the Grunge Tour of the Pacific Northwest, and the New England/East Coast Fall Colors Extravaganza.
- Also around this time, I started taking writing classes through UC Extension. Although I'd always wanted to write, this was the beginning of some real effort to produce work. My first published article came out in 1998--but I'm getting ahead of myself.
- We took our annual trips to Donner Lake every summer, the kids kept getting taller, and we were preparing ourselves for the day when our oldest would leave the nest for the college of her choice in Haverford, PA.
|The duck pond at Haverford College|
Just going to seal up these boxes and then I'll be ready to move on to the next--and penultimate, for these purposes, anyway--segment of this project!