Background: the Cal Poly years

I lived in SLO for seven years. This was a golden era of adventures, experiences, and friendship of a type that could only occur with the following “perfect storm” of factors:

  1. A youthful, eager, and free-spirited age range (early 20’s)
  2. A great number of exceedingly bright people (the college was tech-focused and quite selective)
  3. A small, somewhat isolated town that forced social creativity because there really was not that much to do.

Honestly, people will ask me “you lived there for seven years. What did you do?” and although I can’t honestly think of direct answers to that question, we were never bored.

A brief snapshot of my life during this time:

  • Educationwise, I started off as an Environmental Engineering major. I became dissatisfied with it; partly because the engineering was very difficult, and partly because I was disappointed to find out that there really wasn’t much “environmental” in it. So I changed my major to Ecology, and soon afterward fell in love with taxonomic/research botany.
  • Socially and activitywise, I played in marching band for two years and briefly flirted with a whole host of other clubs and organizations before finding my place in WOW– the Week of Welcome program. WOW defined my college days more than anything else and has forever shaped who I am. Most of the stories from the college era relate to WOW, either directly (such as WOW activities) or indirectly (such as adventures undertaken with WOW friends).


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