• Kristen Miller

my path


when i was growing up, i had no idea what i wanted to do. when i was a kid, i loved playing tetherball with my sisters. i loved drawing, particularly drawing people and families and faces. i did well in school (not "straight A student" well, but good enough to get into a good college out of high school). i played sports, did volunteer work, loved hanging with my friends, but ultimately i had no idea what i wanted to do with my life or where i was going. at the beginning of my senior year of high school, kids would ask me what i was doing the following year. my response was always, "i dunno, go to college i guess?" i was extremely fortunate to have parents that supported and guided me through life, and so yes, i went to college.

scared sh**less, i applied to about 13 different universities within the UC and CSU systems. i was accepted to most of the CSUs and two UCs. i ended up choosing UC Santa Cruz, as an "undecided" major. when i GOT to UCSC, i still had no idea what i wanted to do, so i took a bunch of general education courses, and eventually found this "dual degree" program. i could basically get two bachelors degrees in 5 years, a BA from UCSC and a BS in engineering from UCB. i enrolled and made the decision i wanted to be a disneyland imagineer and design roller coasters (which meant i had to get a structural engineering degree from UCB). i chose to be an Art major at UCSC, then took my first drawing class where i was FORCED to draw, and hated it. i switched my UCSC major to economics (it didn't really matter anyway because i was only using UCSC to get to UCB), got that degree, transferred to UCB and graduated with a BS in civil engineering emphasis structural engineering mechanics & materials. awesome. so then what?

i moved back home and applied for engineering jobs. got hired at a local civil engineering firm and hated it. i knew within the first two weeks of working there that i wouldn't be able to hang. i stuck it out for a year & 1/2, then applied for a STRUCTURAL engineering job - that one was better but i was still not loving it. so i went back to school to get my teaching credential, and began teaching high school math in 2006. i was in love. i've been working with kids in education ever since...

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