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Because wherever you go, there you are
Welcome NSA!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Bit of Background

I tried to post a descriptive bio on my page, but, alas, it ended up looking huge and ungainly in that right column.

So I'll post it here instead, paragraphs intact.

I was born in Detroit to Ukrainian immigrant parents, and spoke only Ukrainian until kindergarten, where I learned to speak English properly and grammatically. (Mind you, this was only after weeks of my teacher wondering is I was, well, slow, as I didn't speak at all in class, and had no idea what she was saying.) I then spent ten years of Saturdays going to Ukrainian school, where I learend all about Ukraine's history and culture. As was de rigeur for first generation Ukes in the 60s and 70s, I attended anti-Soviet demonstrations (but was never, alas, arrested), sang in a choir, made pysanky, and learned to play the bandura poorly.

I missed out on a lot of American culture (girl scouts, Barbie dolls, and Saturday morning cartoons except for Scooby Doo), but did become a punk (Gabba Gabba Hey!), learned Spanish and photography, and managed to earn degrees in chemistry and medicine.

I trained as an OB/GYN in the hospital where I was born, and, in 1987, finally entered the real world. I found it boring and a bit pointless. I also found it to be all-consuming, taking time away from friends, family, and non-medical pursuits. Searching for meaning and a goal in life, I began to travel extensively, and volunteered at hospitals in India and Ukraine.

In 1997 I quite the rat race, and left a fairly successful practice to become a relatively poorly paid hospital doctor with lots of free time. I began to write more, travel more, and take more photos.

And I found my cause. In 1998 my cousin Vera convinced me to volunteer at a camp for orphans in Ukraine. I loved it, and have gone back every summer since. I have also become active in UCARE (see links), am on the board of directors, and am the group webmaster.

In 2000 I was shaken out of my political complacency by the judicial coup that placed Bush the Younger on the American throne. I became more politically active, educating myself and my friends, and getting more involved in the political process (MoveOn, protests, activism).

I have continued with my hobbies, too--photography, pysanky, and travel. My .mac website has phtos of all these pursuits. Go have a look.


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