Thirty Years Ago...

Thirty years ago, I was preparing to move to Los Angeles to attend USC. If I could tell myself what I know now…

1) Do not drop the physical sciences degree four units short! The English and journalism degrees won't get you far.

2) Do not drop the computer science degree, either. Sure, the courses are boring and you will do more interesting stuff at work in the computing center, but darn it… uhg!

3) Do not pursue the teaching credential. It isn't going to happen, so stop it. Now! (And you'll keep repeating this teaching career mistake. Get over it.)

4) Do more than work and study. Two years at the Daily Trojan and nobody will remember you because you didn't hang out or attend any events. That's not how to network. Clips alone aren't the ticket.

5) Enjoy LA more. You'll miss it later. Riots, earthquakes, and all, you'll always consider LA "home" in some way.

I graduated in 1990, after three years, with the fall 1990 semester for my preliminary teaching credential. The school of education ended up in a debate with my potential employer over how to verify completion of my teaching assignment and things went off the rails. There was a "disagreement" between my mentors. Never quite bounced back.

I could have skipped returning to teach in the Central Valley and completed student teaching in Los Angeles. I felt too obligated to returning home. That was a mistake.

The USC School of Education at the time was inflexible and old-fashioned. A solution should have been possible. Oh, well. I made other mistakes trying to clear the credential once I was teaching. (I should have used Fresno State's program for the clear credential.)

Over-educated, under-employed, and painfully aware that I made some poor choices along the way.
The notion I would still teach led to the MA, Ph.D, and MFA degrees. Ha! How is that for the definition of insanity?


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