We’re here because I am going to try to convince you that anyone can study physics for a living. I’m not special, I don’t have a gift, none of that. I was never good at the sciences or in mathematics. They were consistently my worst subjects in grade school; from middle school up until I graduated high school. By the time I entered my junior year of high school, I was in Pre-Pre-Calculus (Yes, two Pre’s), not understanding or retaining a lick and scraping by on a D in the class. I just barely passed the class by the end of the year and by senior year, they told me I finished all of my math requirements for the advanced diploma. So, I said, cool. Not gonna take math if I don’t have to, right? So, I didn’t. I didn’t take physics either. I took oceanography my senior year. All I remember from that class is how sweet the teacher was and how mean classmates were to her.
In 2012, I graduated from high school with highest honors and an advanced diploma. I had not taken any calculus or physics courses up to this point (I will realize in college that I had no study skills. How I got a 3.5 in high school still bewilders me). I was very good at failing math and science classes so when I entered Radford University as a freshman, it was not a thought at the time that I would pursue physics. I enrolled as “Undeclared”.