List Your Self: Turning Points

I have a book on my shelf that I’ve probably had for close 15 years.  Every once in a while I pull it off the shelf and tell myself that I should read it and try it out.  The book is called “List  Your Self: Listmaking as the way to Self-Discovery”.  The subtitle says that it is “A provocative, Probing and Personal Expedition Into Your Mind, Heart, and Soul”

Seems to me that this is not only great fodder for a blog but also for a social network like facebook.  While many meme’s that go around annoy me to no end, there have been a few that have allowed me to know a little more about my online friends (mostly friends from days gone by).  That has to be one of my favorite things about Facebook and Twitter, getting to reconnect with old friends and keeping up with all my current ones.

So here it goes, List #1

List the Biggest Turning Points in Your Life

  • 1985: In fourth grade, I was recruited to participate in a UIL contest called Number Sense.  This definitely started me down a path toward becoming a mathematician and an educator.
  • 1985: Also the year that I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.  Life would be totally different without Him.
  • 1994: Summer I traveled to Bakersfield, CA, to work as a summer missionary.  Met Si Budagher and made a lot of good friends, a few of whom would eventually come to Wayland.
  • 1994: Senior year in high school when I decided to go to Wayland for college.  That was a major life decision considering I met my wife there and now plan on teaching there for as long as they’ll let me.
  • 1995: After a year as a Religion major, I missed math too much and decided to add mathematics as a major.
  • 1995: Also the year I met the most intriguing, hilarious, intelligent, witty, and beautiful woman that I have ever laid eyes on.  I took only a couple of months to learn that I would have to spend the rest of my life getting to know her.
  • 1998: Decided to go to Texas Tech to get my graduate degrees in Mathematics.  I decided very early that I wanted to teach undergraduate mathematics.
  • 1998: Marriage.  Almost nothing turns your life around more than this.
  • 2000: Children. NOTHING turns your life around more than this.  Emily came in August and being a father has become the most fulfilling and challenging job of my life.
  • 2000: Wayland hired me as a Mathematics Instructor. 
  • 2003: Along comes Timothy and we now have both a boy and a girl.  The family is seemingly complete.  It is the family that both Lori and I had always planned on.  We’re most likely done having kids at this point.
  • 2004: Along comes Zachary and God reminds us that his plans are better than ours.  Life is different and better than we ever imagined.  Our family is just not complete without the life of the party, Mr. Z.
  • 2005: Completed the Ph.D.  My formal schooling after 24 years is finally over.  Hard to believe.
  • 2007: With all my life goals seemingly met: family, Ph.D., teaching at WBU, I get restless and wonder if I shouldn’t try full-time research for a while.  So I do and after 6 months in a bioinformatics post-doc with Dr. Wilkins in Lubbock, I know that I’m cut out to be an educator.  Research will have to become my hobby.
  • 2008: After commuting for a term, we moved back to Plainview for financial reasons.  It’s tough at first but eventually, it becomes clear that this was the right decision.
  • 2009: We buy the house of our dreams.  Having saved up and having Lori working full-time (without sending any of the kids to day-care) we are in the perfect place to buy our dream house. 
  • 2009: I have been promoted to Associate Dean and begin in August in a new role as an administrator.  Still waiting to see what becomes of this turning point.

That’s a lot of turning points. Not all of them were major changes but most were definitely course corrections in life.

I’m curious, from both the readers of the blog and from my friends on facebook, what are some of your major turning points?

4 thoughts on “List Your Self: Turning Points

  1. Wow! A dean … so you’ve only got a little time before you “go over to the dark side” huh?

    Just kidding (kind of).

    Congratulations (or condolences) depending on how it goes.

    :) m

  2. I’m the one who asked you about an online math degree. I think I’ll give this list a shot, although I have to say that lately I’m not at a good place emotionally. From your list I think we are pretty much the same age (I went to College in ’95 although I was supposed to go until ’96)
    Anyway, turning points may be also regretted, right? I mean, why not?

    Congratulations for your new position!

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