My first blog post: The story of my life

Well, I suppose this will be my first blog post; I’m probably doing it wrong. I don’t really know what to write about so I’m going to open up with a post about me and my life up to now.

I was born in Georgia on October 18, 1990. I grew up in Winder, Georgia, and I lived in the same house until May 2012. That was when I moved to Atlanta to begin school at Georgia Institute of Technology, but lets take a few steps back.

I have two sisters. One is 16 months older than me and the other one is 6 years younger. I went to County Line Elementary School until third grade when there was some sort of change in districts that resorted in me moving to Bramlett Elementary. It was a fun few years. That was until I failed 5th grade due to my less than acceptable work in history. That was a bit of a downer. I repeated the 5th grade, and it put me a year behind. The nice part was I knew a lot of the material going into 5th grade again despite the fact that I failed, so I did rather well especially in math. It also made it easier to transition into the next stage in my life.

After successfully completing 5th grade, I moved on to middle school. Except, that was the point in my life where I left public schools and entered private schooling at Hope Christian Academy (HCA). I can’t say that was the best thing ever. At the time, I loved it, but it was indoctrination at its best. It was a fundamentalist school–which entailed creationism (ie evolution denial and a young earth belief). It was supposed to help us (my sisters and I) learn better, but I don’t think it did. I wasn’t your traditional student, and their solution to that was moving me to, for lack of a better phrase, the special ed section. I fell way behind (but never failed). I was there 3 years, and I only left because we couldn’t afford it anymore. I hated leaving at the time (because the indoctrination worked so well). In retrospect, I’m so thankful I didn’t complete my schooling there. There is a lot more I’d like to say on the subject, but I’ll save it for another post.

So I moved on from HCA to Winder Barrow High School (WBHS). I entered in behind, but by the time I graduated in 2010 (at the ripe old age of 19), I had caught back up. Not only that, I’d made my way into honors and AP classes. Thus proving HCA was wrong. Granted, freshman year was a bit of an adjustment period, but I proved myself no different than any other student.

While at WBHS, I became very active in clubs, particularly DECA (the marketing club). I was also an officer in several other clubs, but DECA played a huge role in my high school career. I was an officer for 2 years and an active club member for 3. DECA taught me a level of professionalism that has been extremely helpful through the years. It also helped me learn how to branch out and connect with other people. Most importantly, I learned how much I love being active in clubs and group activities.

Obviously, that couldn’t last. As great as it was, I had to move on. And so I did. I had to decide what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I liked space, science, and math, so aerospace engineering seemed to be the most feasible option. I applied to Ga Tech and was rejected.My test scores (aside from math) weren’t anything special, and my GPA, while not bad, wasn’t the best. I was devastated. Although, I didn’t give up. That was when I applied and went to Gainesville State College (GSC), now the University of North Georgia.

I was disappointed at first, but I came to love GSC. It was the perfect way to transition from high school to college. Not to mention, it was way cheaper. It was around the start of college that I began to forsake any religious belief I had. High school had at least knocked the fundamentalism out of me. My first year at GSC was a bit of a transition, so I wasn’t very active in anything outside classes. Although, my first semester I took Calculus 1 (for the second time at the behest of my high school Calc teacher). As it was my second time taking it, I was already a master at it, and I did awesome. Because of that, my teacher loved me. It just so happened that she was the adviser for the math club, and she got me to check it out.

Before long, I was a club office once again. Naturally, that wasn’t enough. I soon became active in the Chemistry club (in that I attended the meetings). I later became the treasurer. Not long after that I became an office in the Engineering Club and the Physics Club. I have to say the latter two were my favorite clubs. It was around this time that I decided to change from Aerospace to Mechanical (at least for my bachelors) since they are so similar and mechanical engineering had better job prospects.

After 2 years, with all the core classes out of the way, it wasn’t too hard to transfer into Ga Tech. Once again, I didn’t do much with clubs. I had made a few visits to Campus Freethinkers meetings (the secular student alliance club at Tech). It wasn’t until last year (2013-2014) that I began going regularly. To be honest, it wasn’t really the meetings themselves that got me going. After the meetings, a few of people went to a local restaurant to play geek trivia. I loved it. Trivia doesn’t happen anymore, but it lasted long enough for me to become more active and eventually an officer of the club. We do other fun things to make up for it being gone.

But once again, I’m getting ahead of myself. In May of 2013 I began co-oping at McKenney’s Inc, an HVAC company. This has been an amazing experience. I’m really happy I’ve had the opportunity to do this. HVAC is a big step from aerospace, my original goal, but by this point I had nearly given up anything to do with space because I didn’t see myself being able to stand more engineering schooling. Plus, I liked McKenney’s. It is a great place to work. However, I just don’t think it’s what I want to do. I’m not passionate about it. I finished my third and last semester there in Fall of 2014. I am happy to say that they are letting me continue to work part time, but that’s with the understanding that I think I want to try something different.

I love science, and I love space. Hence my initial attraction to Aerospace. But I think I may of been focusing on the wrong side of space. I’ve decided to pursue a career in planetary science. I’ve applied to the grad program in the school of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences here at Tech and am awaiting a response. It’s a big change, but as time continues to progress, I’m becoming more and more confident that this is what I want to do.

That’s it. That’s the story of my life.

In the future, I am hoping to use this blog a way to delve deeper into the types of topics I tend to post about on Facebook. Although, I’ll probably do more like this post, talking more about specific areas in my life. I guess we will see how it works out. I think this could be a lot of fun. I just hope I don’t give up on it.

———

Update January 2019

I live in Canada. I got my Master’s last August. I’m working on my PhD now. I love planetary science, and I have no doubt this is what I want to do. Also, I’ve come out as bi, on this blog actually.

 

One Reply to “My first blog post: The story of my life”

  1. I enjoyed reading your blog Josh and learning more about you. I have admired and have much respect for you, as over the years we have grown to know each other. I look forward in following you, to see where your dreams take you. I know your going to become an assist to our world one day! Your friend from another place, Linda Williams

    Liked by 1 person

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