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Robotic Engineer (age 8, to be clear, I had no idea what that meant at the time)

FBI Agent (age 14, despite disliking violence, guns, and the dark)

Biology Major or English Major (ages 15-17, when I apparently gave zero thought to my future)

Physicist (age 18, after hearing Dr. James Gates speak about String Theory in my freshman orientation)

Teacher (age 21, after I chickened out on applying to graduate school my senior year and figured I’d better do something worthwhile in the meantime)

Physicist Again (age 21 ½, after Teach For America interviewed but ultimately rejected me*)

Mathematician (age 22, after I decided I didn’t want to have to beg physics to take me back)

Meteorologist (age 24, this one is actually a little tricky to explain**)

Patent Agent (age 26, because of my masters in meteorology, of course)

Physicist Again (age 31, when I realized I’d put off getting a Ph.D. in physics for a decade)

Patent Agent (age 32, after stupidly waiting until I’d completed a whole year of coursework towards a Ph.D. before I thought to Google “how bad are the job prospects for theoretical physicists?”***)

Writer (age 36, in progress)

* and I mean like me as a person, not just as a job candidate, or at least that is how I felt

** At the time, my girlfriend was a graduate student at Penn State—so I applied to Penn State for math. But apparently I hadn’t taken enough math classes (which duh, I didn’t know I wanted to study math until after I’d graduated)—so I had to figure out another way to get to State College, Pennsylvania. Coincidentally, right around that time my boss was offered a professorship in the Meteorology department at Penn State and she asked if I wanted to come with her. And that is how I ended up with a masters in meteorology from Penn State.

*** The answer? Very, very bad.

Jesse Stone

Jesse B. Stone loves science and writing. Apologies if you were looking for the "Jesse Stone" played by Tom Selleck in the CBS movies.

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