Where I began and where I am:

I spoke with a friend recently about what we imagined for ourselves when we were little and thinking about our futures. Here is what I thought about....

My first plan: Join up with Indiana Jones.

Yes, I wanted to go around the world with Indiana. This dream started around the time I was about eight-years-old and my older cousin and I managed to get into the theater on our own to see one of the movies. I fell in love--not just with him but also with the idea of travel, learning about old civilizations, and the thrill of finding out a secret through archaeology. So, I dug around in the dirt and never found anything, but I still have a crush on Indiana.

My next plan? Become a marine biologist.

(Source: http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-illustration-3388562-marine-life.php)

I fell in love with this idea when I was about 12-years-old. I was chosen, along with several others in my class, to visit Dauphin Island Sea Lab. It was so much fun and I learned so much. The decision to work with and study marine life continued for about two years. During this time, my friend, Rachel, and I did a crazy science project about dolphin communication. If you can imagine us at my house, mimicking dolphin noises in the bathroom while one of us had her head ducked under water in the bathtub to figure out what we could hear through echolocation...well, that is where this dream led me. We won second place...but the school told us that if we had taken photos we would have won the grand prize. :)

Rachel and I , disappointed by our loss, turned our sights away from this planet and decided that space was the place for us...

So, career path #3:

Space Academy...wow...I could tell some stories...and because this is my blog, I will. I was there for about five minutes before I realized that I had made a huge mistake. You see, in spite of my love for science and all, I am a horrible math student. And the first thing they made me do at Space Academy? A test...a math and science test...during my summer vacation...the same summer I was obsessed with reading V.C. Andrews novels...the same summer I was a dreamy 13-year-old...yep. You got it. I was not impressed. And, when I surprisingly scored really high on the math test, I ended up in charge of mission control for our first mission. And that was a complete disaster because I was clueless. So, we crashed.
Then, the food was terrible at space academy...and we weren't allowed food or music in our rooms...and this was also the time when I was obsessed with New Kids on the Block and Madonna. So, I am deprived of music (BECAUSE I ALWAYS FOLLOW THE FREAKIN' RULES...even though I had a walkman with me) and I am starving. Am getting ill just thinking about it.

Keep going...I faked being sick for the second mission. I just couldn't take it. We had homework everyday, were up by 5:30 or 6 a.m. every morning (after going to bed way past 11 every night...and I need my sleep), and I WAS STILL HUNGRY. Cause I love my food.

But I did really well on the next to the last day when we had a project in a pool. We had to build something underwater...and, well, I can hold my breath for a really long time...so I helped us win by a long shot. I was elated. So, that same day, emboldened by my success, I ditched the group and broke the rules. I bought food in the gift shop, and that night I ate in my room after lights out...and I listened to music...and, the one time I broke the rules, I got into trouble. The monitor came in and told me that she was calling my parents and sending me home. (She didn't, by the way.) The problem? I really didn't care. Because it was the night before we were leaving anyway. It was the first time I was totally unremorseful for doing something wrong. But I had had it. Earlier that evening, I actually met an astronaut. When he asked me how I liked space academy, I told him the truth. He asked me why I had come and I said that I really didn't know. Yes, I was a bit surly. (Actually, though, I was very polite to him because he was my elder. I just felt surly inside.) Needless to say, that was the end of the space dream for me. Am I still bitter? Yes.
My new dream after the space disaster: To be Jane Pratt

I have already written about this recently, so no need to go into it. But, as you who follow this blog know, I wanted to be Jane Pratt, editor of Sassy magazine.

And, of course, I followed that path and have been involved in magazine work consistently since then....

With a slight detour to do various degrees along the way...and teach...and write a dissertation...

The dreams never end. And that is a good thing.


Cathy Copeland said…
I LOVED Space Academy when I went. (But, truth be told, I still want to be an astronaut!) I must have been there is 1992 or 1993? Wonder if we were there around that time?
Susie said…
Yeah, I am probably the only kid who hated it! I was there slightly before you...I think it was 1989!

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