Lori Lyn Price works as a biostatistician at Tufts Medical Center. She graduated with her master's degree in statistics from Ohio State 8 years ago and has an undergraduate degree in statistics from BYU.
As a biostatistician, Lori Lyn helps researchers write grants, set up databases, and analyze and publish the results of their studies. She was recently accepted into the Harvard Extension School MLA program and looks forward to earning her master's degree in history. Her evenings are spent studying for her history class, filling out her family tree, and cheering for her favorite college football teams.
I entered BYU with the expectation I would marry while there and a firm determination to graduate in spite of that. I was consequently taken completely by surprise when I woke up one spring morning with no marital prospects and realized that graduation was only a few weeks away.
Even though obtaining my degree was important to me, I had planned my career to be that of a stay-at-home mom, never entertaining other plans or a career outside the home. However, with graduation looming I needed to decide what to do. Unsure if I wanted to enter graduate school or find a job, I took an internship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation that another student had just turned down to give myself time to think about this unexpected career path.
Twelve years after taking that internship, I remain single, and yet I look back at all the opportunities that have come my way — because I am single. Working at the Cleveland Clinic, a prestigious medical research center, opened doors for me to work in practically any other medical research institution. My boss at the Cleveland Clinic offered me the flexibility to choose my own path and work at a level that was unusual for someone with my experience. I eventually did earn a master’s degree in statistics and moved to Boston to work at Tufts Medical Center.
I've also had the flexibility to travel in the U.S. and abroad, to Egypt, Israel, Portugal, Mexico and Canada; to pursue more education and and to indulge in diverse hobbies, including photography, card-making (both paper and photo cards), jewelry-making, and genealogy. Had I married while in college, there may have been neither time nor money for these pursuits.
More recently, I decided to return to graduate school to study history. (As an undergrad, I considered double-majoring in history and statistics, but eventually opted just for statistics which turned out to be a wise choice: stats is challenging, pays reasonably well, and, most importantly, I enjoy it.) In history, I'm now 1/3 of the way through my classes and was recently accepted into a graduate program. I'm finding that my stats background allows for a unique take on history.
I'm also combining my knowledge of history and genealogy to start a lecturing business for genealogists, providing context on how historical events impacted daily life in the New England colonial era. One of my favorite lectures is a discussion-oriented presentation on colonial women who were extraordinary in some way, as well as some lesser-known women, and contrasting their life experiences with those of modern-day women.
My life is very different than I envisioned as a teenager. I thought I would be a wife and mother. It has been difficult to see all five of my younger sisters marry and have children while I remain single. And yet, as I've pursued the opportunities before me, I am discovering new dreams, and a life that is full and happy in unexpected ways.
There are some dreams — that we deserve — that may go unrealized indefinitely, wanting to be married being one of them. Autumn is a good time to honor the loss we feel, to grieve.
At the same time, where there are unrealized dreams there are also unimagined opportunities, new dreams — and happiness. What unrealized dreams have freed up the resources (time, money, energy) needed for your current dreams?
At work, I'm doing some projects that make me wonder why I didn't know about stats in high school and college. Are there courses of study that you've never even considered, in part, because girls just don't?
What did you study when you were younger that you can combine with something you presently love, bridging to your future?
Finally, Lori Lyn Price presented her lecture on colonial women at Fusion, a women's salon-style group I participate in: it was her presentation that led me to read a biography on Abigail Adams. If you live in greater Boston, you may want to invite her to speak as well. Her website is www.bridgingthepast.com which she describes as a work-in-progress — logo pending.