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walk down memory lane

November 30, 2009

Ten years ago, I was knuckling under to finish up my last semester of college as an undergraduate. I’d quit my job at IUSM in May so I could do a summer internship at IDNR-Nature Preserves (DNP), and concurrently take 6 hours of geography classes. In the fall term, I took 12 hours of classes: 2 more in geography, 1 in world history, and 1 in biology. The biology class was the Plant Communities of Indiana class, which was actually taught at Franklin College in Franklin, so instead of the normal 10 mile drive from our apartment to the downtown Indianapolis campus, it was a 30 mile drive each way (but only once a week, if I remember correctly).

Historically, simply attending classes (without also working) has not been a good arrangement for me. But I have done it successfully in small doses, like one semester. I got all A’s, too, which I was very happy about.

By the time I graduated, I’d started college the first time 15 years before, and had had 14 majors (most for a very short time). I’d attended 5 schools in 3 states. And I paid for all of it myself, taking out no loans.

I learned an amazing amount of useful things from being a geography major — probably the most important: looking at scales. Thinking of myself as a biogeographer continues to be an important part of my identity even now, despite not having been paid to do biogeography except for when I worked for DNP [left there for the last time in early 2002].

Of course, I’ve always loved maps, and journeys, and seeing places.


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