September 03, 2012

History of Doc - Part 2

     College was a whole different experience.  I wanted to go to Johns Hopkins and be a doctor - but my 4.12 grade average in a four point scale wasn't good enough.  I had traveled to Russia in high school and i think the file started on me way back when.  I was a good kid, but self-motivate and with a specific do what i want bent.  I am sure i caused problems that nobody bothered to tell me about - so i just did what i do.  The flow of college was such, that i realized i was not going to be a medical doctor - i didn't grok the language of biology and i couldn't stand the other pre-meds.  I dropped the premed, stayed with the chemistry and teased the physics folks who wanted me to double major.
     This was the late 70's, I double majored in chemistry and drug culture.  I joined a fraternity, got high on pot for the first time and slipped down the rabbit hole.  Since i could function and learn while high, i don't think i missed a day.  I went to the same undergrad at the same time as NFL commish Roger G.  Senior year - a strange drug mishap occurred and i had my first Vision Quest (aka NDE).  I didn't know the score, but i helped a lot of people who had a very bad time and literally thought i was Jesus.  Scared me so much, that when all was back - i checked myself into a hospital psyche ward and buried myself in Atlas Shrugged.  Then i finished the last two weeks of school by writing one term paper that covered chemistry, history and english lit based on Rand's work.  
      Then i blew out of dodge.  Packed my stuff and my cat in a brown gran torino and drove cross country to Oregon.  Rolled into Corvallis and showed up at grad school - three months early.  I met Dr. Wendall Slaybaugh and was fascinated by his grip on the topic of inorganic chemistry.  I was psyched to play and when i got back to school on Monday, i found the entire department mourning Dr. Slaybaugh's untimely death.  I got to clean up his lab as my summer project - all sorts of stuff with nobody to tall me about what it did.
     I spent seven years in Corvallis, completing my doctorate with another JHK - James Henry Krieger.  Jim was a soft-spoken charm of a man - his roll was assigning all of the chemistry teaching assistants to the classes each term.  I was a Teaching assistant for intro chemistry for most of the time - in the summers, i got the higher level instrumental tech courses.  I got to fix the machines after the knob twiddlers had knob twiddled.  I also was on a beer test panel at noon for three years as Budweiser had the food science group doing taste research.  I can find luminol in beer at the ppm level (Part per million).
     Graduation sent me to Boston and Brandeis, after a hike on the Pacific Crest Trail with my new bride and our best dog.  I lost the camera day one and lost myself in the wilderness overnight on day five.  The 5 am reunion with a pink spire of Mt. Jefferson in the background is an experience i will never forget.  The East Coast was not a place for a west coast girl, but we managed two years with our friend on a team we called the Absolute Zeros.  Then back to Oregon.
    At this point, I need another break - part three will follow, but later today.  I planned to talk about politics - but personal history is a necessary ground state, because if you know from whence i come, then perhaps the perspective will become a bit more clear.  We need change, but change from what, and how.  More soon.

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