About me – the left brain version

This is that more left brain description of who I am.

I am a 60-year-old happily married wife of that wonderful geek dude who time and again saves me from my lack of technology expertise.

I am the mother of an adult son who works in higher education administration, loves foreign languages, and has a truly sensitive and generous heart.

I started my work career as a Medical Laboratory Technologist and did my hospital training at the then brand-new St. Vincent’s Hospital and the older and more interestingly located, Park City Hospital, in Bridgeport, CT.

I worked in hospital labs in Farmington CT and Torrington CT for 15 years and along the way worked with some great people I still remember fondly. I was taught tremendous lessons in grace, love and dignity in the face of pain and death by the many patients whose blood I drew and tests I ran during those years. I still think of them in my prayers.

We moved to Durham NC in 1990 where I spent a year in a cell biology research lab doing things to mice, which I hated, though I discovered my talent for and love of making frozen tissue sections.

I spent 4 years at Glaxo validating research data for FDA drug submissions, including what had most meaning to me, the AIDS drug, 3TC.

All through my life, I have wanted to be a writer, even as I pursued other things. I thank my freshman high school English teacher, she knows who she is, for that one single line she wrote in a journal that opened my eyes to the fact my dream could become a reality.To anyone who doubts the power and influence of a good teacher, that one line has sustained me for almost 40 years. I wish our teachers were paid more and better respected. They deserve to be. To those who say they are paid too much, have summers off, and get out of work early everyday, you truly don’t know what it takes to be a teacher and my only suggestion is to tell you – go try it and see how you do.

In any event, in 1995, I left to spend more time with my son, start a freelance writing business, and work part-time on an IRB, an Independent Review Board. The charge was to protect human subjects in research studies by making sure their studies were sound and their informed consents truly told them everything we felt they should know before they agreed to participate.

Along the way, I kept trying to write fiction because after all, if you can write nonfiction articles, how hard can fiction-writing be? Don’t fool yourself. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever attempted. I have a 500 page first novel that is set on the rocky New England coastline I love. Its chapters alternate between the worlds above and below the pier, between the ethnic blue-collar world of a diner, and the shadowy liquid world of a hermit crab and those unsnuggly, hard-crusted creatures that I find worth loving. If you could sum up the novel in a line, it would also sum up the biggest lesson of my life: We need others. What will we choose? As with all first novels, it sits in a drawer, having taught me much, but needing a lot more work.

I also created a number of photographic and oil painting art works – seascapes, sea creatures. I intended to make that part of my second career and possibly combine it with my writing as well.  But there is the “what will you choose?” and the logical answer at that point in my life – I need people. In that vein I must say how much I loved, needed, and appreciated my Monday morning art class friends, who saved my art and my psyche as we shared space each week. However, eventually I found a stronger pull that would use all of the various talents and experiences from my entire life.

I had been volunteering at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. No matter how artistic I am, I have a strong left brain that requires feeding. Over time, I took a job as a full-time science educator.  I love it.   My mission is to convey a passion for science, to anyone and everyone and revel in being a creative science geek.  Along the way I try to make sure that love is contagious, so I can help kids stop fearing science and start reveling in it.

Yet even as I revel in science, teaching and my people connections, I still feel that yearning to write. It is part of me, and so I take time from regular duties to write articles for the Museum’s magazine, and I post entries on the Museum website’s education blog.  And now, in 2016, I return to this blog, to resume some writing projects of my own, with a new frame of reference from where I left things 5 years ago.

So, off on the adventure!!!


4 Responses to “About me – the left brain version”

  1. Donna J. Shepherd Says:

    I am getting a kick out of reading your left brain, right brain descriptions. Sometimes I feel that same way as a left-handed person in right-handed world. I love your blog concept.

  2. debrabailey Says:

    Thank you so much. I realize it is not the typical author blog. I feared that might work against it. But, we all are who we are, so, I am the pile of mosaic pieces being assembled as I go. Thanks again!

  3. Norbert Haupt Says:

    Hmm. I am 54. Always wanted to be a writer and decided more recently that I am just not one. Wanted to write Sci Fi. Read lots of it. Lifelong artist. Father of a 22 year old son and 25 year old daughter. Interested in cetaceans. Parallels. Funny.

    • debrabailey Says:

      I think it is the way with creative souls, we often tread the same paths. 🙂 Re cetaceans, I have recently focused on them. I love all sea creatures, even things like sea slugs. 🙂 Must have been a sea creature in an earlier life. In any event, good luck with your writing, even if it is just for you, and thanks for visiting.

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