What I do now: Study for a second Masters degree at Washington State University. My degree program is Rhetoric and Composition, but my passion is writing and communicating about wine and wine science in particular. My current research concerns how science majors learn to write in their disciplines, and I have future projects planned on the rhetoric of wine packaging. I’ve also taken some course work in microbial enology – the microbiology of how wine is made and stored.
Where I hope to be: I’m looking for a position in which I can do what I do best: translate technical scientific language into intelligen lay-person-ese. Sooner or later I’d like to be doing that in the context of the wine industry and its publications, but I can see myself being useful and finding fulfillment in education or biological sciences publications as well.
My background: I’m a refugee from an MD/PhD program, deciding to avert a mid-life crisis before it began by leaving med school for a different road. Notwithstanding my love of medicine, I realized somewhere along the way that the life I pictured for myself when I “grew up” didn’t have much to do with the lives of the clinician-scientists I saw twenty years ahead of me. I made the excruciating decision to change fields. After some hunting and pecking — and a lot of flack from people who said I was giving up or who wondered why I wanted to reduce my future salary by half or more — I am now finding the various elements of my life melding into a congruent whole in a perfectly delightful and delightfully refreshing way.
Where I am: Washington State University is in Pullman, WA, on the far Eastern side of the state. This is the Palouse, the land of rolling hills and wheat fields, NOT the wet lush coastal clime of Seattle. The front of my car was plastered with tumbleweeds after my first drive into town. Washington’s major wine growing regions — the Columbia Valley, Red Mountain, Walla Walla, and Wahluke Slope AVAs — are about two to three hours drive to the southeast.