Who the hell am I, and how did I get here? Finishing the story.
A couple weeks back I posted a giant grid on my Instagram wall and told everyone a little about me and how I got to where and what I am doing today. It went as follows: (you can totally skip to 'FINISHING THE STORY' if you have seen this on Instagram).
"I have wanted to be a scientist since CSI the original Las Vegas, came out. I went to college with the intention of being a forensic scientist. I took classes at University, I scoffed at "lesser" sciences like Biology, I did 2 in a half years research in fire debris analysis and eventually realized this research thing isn't for me. Which is hilarious to me now because thats all I want to do today. I wonder if it had somthing to do with my under developed frontal lobe at the time haha
Anyhoo. I took my first biology class and I instantly feel in love. I remember thinking, biology is chemistry with dire consequecnces because it happens in humans and when the chemistry goes a rye you just may die! ♀♂
After this particular class I went to my advisor and swaped majors to Biology with an emphasis in physiology and anatomy. Next I thought, wth can you do with a bio degree thats not research? (I was very antiresearch still haha).
Ill be a doctor!
I worked in a hospital for 3 years shadowed AMAZING emergency medicine physicians, saw how western medicine worked, and it was seeing how everyone else beside my mentors treated patients..... like cattle, like an obligation and like an inconvienence, I HATED IT. And said, bye Felicia I took the MCAT and applied still just so I had no regrets in the future ya know? I did horrible, I am a horrible test taker which will be my futures downfall because our whole system is built on ridiculous one size fits all tests BUT that wont stop me from Conquering the GRE for graduate school!
Today I am in love with all of science. I want to do research but I also just want to talk about it all the time. I want to learn about everything and thats why I have decided I want to research, eventually teach at community college level and break into science writing and scicomm. I started my site AlloKSci.com where I write easy to read and hopefully quirky and fun science articles about bitchin stuff, I evolved my instagram to be scicomm, lab, and fitness themed and I am DOING IT!
There is no set roadmap for this path, but i am figuring it out. You can read about such on the blog portion of my website"
FINISHING THE STORY
That wasn't an all encompassing post. There were character limitations though not as strict as Twitter haha. I left out that I was desperate for a very very long time. It was 2014 and I was at an all new low. I had been out of college for 2 years I had applied and been rejected from about 28 medical schools and that, I was ok with. What I was not ok with was not having a goal. I was at a loss. What do I do? What do I want to do? It was at this time I almost wished I lived in the dystopian world created in the book, "The Giver." Could people just analyze me and pick the perfect career for me? Maybe this whole freedom of choice isn't all that great?
I know this sounds crazy but this is where my mind went. I really just wanted a hand to reach down and guide me. Tell me what career to reach for, what hurtles to overcome in order to realize it, I was good at that. I was good at accomplishing a goal that had steps to it. I always sought out goals like this because it was cut and dry, I could understand it. No critical thinking or creativity involved.
At this time I was waiting tables and I worked briefly as an Executive Personal Assistant to a local startup. I was failing I could feel it, I was a failure. This was my biggest fear and it was here at age 25. I did what most type A's would do I suppose, I found a goal. I went after something I looked down upon for ages, teaching.
Now, Why did I look down upon teaching? Its not what you think, REALLY. I think teachers are hands down, the most underpaid, under appreciated, over utilized and scrutinized people in the world. You want to know what the hardest job in the world is? Its not being President... ok, ok, it might be being President, BUT being a teacher is a VERY close second. I looked down at teaching because I saw people resort to it. I thought, if you want to be a teacher, be a damn teacher for all the right reasons, but if you were settling and kinda giving up on yourself, you were a POS and you would most likely be a horrible teacher. I thought I was the latter. I didn't know what to do though. I didn't want and couldn't be a doctor, I still loathed research at the time, so I settled and decided I would get into the credential program.
It wasn't an easy decision and it wasn't a finale decision. I looked at it as a means to an ends. I was going to do the program which would take a year, make 50k/yr, teach a couple years, live way below my means, and save up to go back to school. For what? I had no clue, but that was the plan. I began by taking two prereqs. One of the classes was a weed out course. It was taught by Dr. Parks, and was that a man a force to be reckoned with. He made damn sure you flunked your first assignment as a wake up call and none of us flunked or half assed anything again. I made it through the weed out course WHO HOO!!! All A's. Student teaching was next, my curriculum already picked out and what happens? Financial aid fucks me over yet again!
This wasn't brought to my attention until I was balls deep in an amazing internship at NASA in the summer of 2015. At this time there was nothing I could do, I didn't have the cash to fork out, No family or assets to fall back on, and I wasn't willing to take out more loans. I was in Mountain View California interning for NASA for fucks sake. I was suffering panic attacks daily, this was the last thing I needed. At the time I was livid. My wonderful roommate at NASA was a resourceful wizard that funded an entire semester for herself at Rutgers, with a months notice through crafty means and witty writing, maybe I could do the same? She helped me and I wrote EVERYONE, contacted everyone, did everything I could from where I was, and got nada, no dice, nothin'.
This forced me to stop school when I returned from the summer, which prompted me to visit some family in Florida, I had the time now I guess. I cut Florida short however, flew to New Jersey to live with and work with some classmate of my NASA roommate on a wim to work on a grey water treatment design to enter into the SINGULARITY competition. I know crazy right? I won't go into the details but this research lasted for 3 weeks then I went to California to go to a music festival for 5 days called Symbiosis, then flew back to Florida to finish visiting with my family and THEN back to Fresno to the shambles and storage facility with the entire contents of my life.
When I moved back to Fresno I had no where to live and no jobs. All of my belongings were in a storage facility and I had no fucking clue what to do. Thank god I have people that love me. I truly believe friends are family you choose and without my BFF Jessica and her amazing sister Hannah my ass would be out in the cold.....more than once (first time was after I was accepted into the medical post-bacc program at the University of Irvine and told it would be financially covered, only to find out it wasn't 2 days after I moved the entire contents of my life there- more about this on the next blog post). FUCKING LIFE SAVERS. If I become financially stable they're getting a free vacation on me, you know what Im saying'?
I applied to all the restaurants finally got hired at the shittiest one and pursued my certification to be a substitute teacher. I began subbing and HOLY HELL, that is the worst job I have ever had in my life. The only way I coped from the horrendous state our education system is in, the inability to remedy it, and the utter lack of support for educators, was writing in a journal I titled, "Confessions of a Substitute Teacher." I had the most hilarious and jaw dropping experiences as a sub. Just a heads up to anyone, subs have no recourse and no support in the education system, kids straight up walk all over you, or in my case, tower over you and physically intimidate.
Through this experience I realized my own short comings in class management. Whether I was good at my job or not for that day completely resided on the temperment of the class and my ability to manage. I wasn't good at it and I knew that the kids deserved better than what I was able to provide. I stepped away and never looked back......at that level. I actually have always wanted to teach at the college level so we'll see ;)
So this is a little piece I left out of the post. Hope you enjoy! STAY POSITIVE, life is going to shit on you either way right?