Okay, so I've been tagged for my first meme ever, and by two people, no less. First Joey's Mom tagged me for this, then before I got around to responding Kristina also tagged me. I hope that means I don't have to reveal 16 things about myself.
To start off, here are the rules: 1. Let others know who tagged you. 2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves. 3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts. 4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.
Okay, so I already said who tagged me. So on to the eight things...
1) One of the first paying jobs I had was to pass out fliers to the neighborhood for a local alderman (city official). This was when I was about 10 or 11 years old. One day the guy just disappears off the face of the map. There was much speculation that he got on the wrong side of some shady characters he did business with, and he ended up "swimming with the fishes". I harbored an irrational fear for months that as an "associate" of his, I was next. On the one hand, I knew it sounded really illogical, so I didn't tell anyone (as a matter of fact, I don't think I've ever told anyone this). But on the other hand, I was always looking over my shoulder.
2) I love to drive. I can remember being about 8 years old, and watching my father intensely while he drove. I was able to drive a stick shift the first time I got behind the wheel like I'd been doing it for months. Like most kids, I couldn't wait to get my license when I was 16. My mom told me I'd get tired of driving, once the novelty wore off. I never have. I drove a Chicago cab for a few years, and have also been a truck driver and tractor operator for a landscaper. If I didn't have a wife and family and the doctor thing going on, I could be happy as an over the road trucker.
3) Ethnically, I'm 100% Polish. Three out of my four grandparents came thru Ellis Island. The fourth one was born here (in the US) shortly after her parents came thru Ellis Island. A lot of who I am can be traced to how this influenced me, though the only Polish language I understand is a couple of swear words. The whole work hard, get a good education, be a good American citizen, there is no free lunch, we are lucky to be here was drummed into me over and over. A lot of it stuck.
4) I used to be a musician. A violinist, to be exact (with some piano, guitar, and drums thrown in). I haven't played in over 25 years, but my violin sits waiting for me on a shelf in my closet. I keep meaning to get back to it, but never seem to have the time. I think if I do pick it up again, once I get my feet wet back in the classics again, I'd like to do some bluegrass.
5) I've been held up at gunpoint. Twice. I was 19 the first time, and a new cab driver. Totally scared out of my wits. The second time was a couple of years later (also as a cabdriver), but it was almost like a business transaction-"I've got a gun, you've got money. Give me the money, and I'll go away." I was more afraid for my life several years later when I was jumped by three guys in front of my apartment in Philadelphia while in medical school (We didn't live in a very good neighborhood). I was OK physically after that attack, but couldn't sleep well for a few weeks.
6) One of my dreams growing up was to be the next Jacques Cousteau. I always thought he was one cool dude with one of the greatest jobs in the world. I started to look into Oceanography as a career for college, but ended up staying in the landlocked midwest and majoring in biology at a local college because of a girl I was going out with. I figured I could always transfer to somewhere on the coast after two years if I really wanted to do it. The girlfriend was quickly gone, I never got around to transferring, and medical stuff caught my eye. The rest is history. I did take up scuba diving, but haven't done it in the last 10 years or so. I'd like to dive the barrier reef some day.
7) One of my work study jobs in undergrad was to work in the college's early child development center (fancy name for daycare). I worked there 2 years, and was made the assistant director my senior year in undergrad. I liked it so much I ended up getting a minor in psychology, and almost went to grad school for early childhood education. Then I discovered that after doing two more years of school, I would make less than I could make with my undergrad biology degree. That just didn't seem right. I did remember all the words to "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round" and many other songs more than 20 years later, though, when I finally became a parent.
8) The first patient that I had die on me in medical school died of AIDS. It was the late 80's, and there wasn't much that we could do for her. I spent a lot of time at her bedside talking to her, and to her husband. When she died, her husband gave me a little felt heart that he said belonged to his wife. He said that she wanted me to have it. I carried that heart in my wallet all thru my training years.
So that's it. Most of the people that I would tag have already been tagged, so I'll get around to identifying eight other people, one of these days...
Me- Joe, husband of a great wife, and dad to two great kids, who were both adopted at birth.
Liz- My ever understanding wife, who manages to wear many hats (mom, advocate, therapist, teacher) for our kids.
Buddy Boy- Born in 2000. Funny, intelligent, inventive, and autistic. Loves machines.
Sweet Pea- Born in 2002. Typical little sister. Competitive, outgoing, and smart. Loves anything pink.