You are in High School and allow a guidance counselor to choose your major and college. Who licensed her or was it a him? You may never understand that conversation.
Three semesters later you are grateful that your parents will even consider giving you a second chance. You remember the night it all turned around, but first that day you will have to drive 600 miles with your dad to clear out your dorm room.
You study something your interested in. You are honored as the Biology student of the year. You fall in love with life, the kind with photosynthesis.
Your senior year friends and professors will want to know where you have applied to graduate school. Some think your going to save the planet. You are on fire, who knows you may save a wetland.
You say to them, "No, I would rather go on my bicycle to the Catskill Mountains."
You meet your life goal.
At home, waiting for you, are thirty large envelopes: 10 from each degree you imagine yourself getting... Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Law, Public Policy.
You tutor at a community college. You see the woman of your dreams. You check the want ads. "Teachers needed... We Place Teachers"
Your teaching at the Valley Forge Military Academy. Now you know your whole life is unpredictable. You are going to barbers weekly
You fall in love, but she is leaving soon for Massachusetts.
You will choose love over the military academy.
You apply to every private school you can find in MA. You become a special education teacher.
You go back for a second year to prove you can do what you failed at the first year. It couldn't be that awful again. It could be, but of course your love is still close by.
Teach a third year then follow your love to Oregon. Say, "Hey where are all the private schools that need my uncertificated uncredentialed self."
Work as a teacher assistant for a year with the neediest of students. It will help you when you have assistants. Washing a student in a shower just may teach you humility.
Go to the U of O. Say, What do you mean you eliminated most of the education dept.
You get a degree in special education instead. Teach for a year in a dieing timber town. It will teach you more about life.
Teach for two years surrounded by prairies, I mean corn and soybeans. You will crave the hills of your childhood
Move back to your home state. And if you are blessed your wife will get a job at a Jesuit University, and you will lose a job when your school sells your satellite campus to a developer.
For one night she will come home sad and you will go back to that Sunday paper and apply for the two positions you skipped over, and your job search will finally end at a place that will unexpectedly turn into a very good gig.
Your love of plants that laid dormant for many years will return.
and all that time you give to the Nature Conservancy, because you still want to save wetlands.
MY LIFE IS BASED ON A TRUE STORY.
so Kathryn.... what do we have in common?