This year I transition from college statistics professor to who knows? No longer is JoyOfStatistics an apt URL. Welcome to my new URL: BornJoy. I'll only be in statistics for another six months, but I'll always be born joy.
Recently, I've thought through my journey to statistics professor. In college, my major was math (emphasis in statistics). I chose that major not because I loved it, but because I was good at math and it felt comfortable to me. I enjoyed it, but it didn't bring me alive inside. In my last year of college, I didn't know what I wanted as a career, but I did know I enjoyed school--I liked to learn; I felt comfortable in school. (Notice I've used the word "comfortable" twice; this is a purposeful choice.) In what area would I get my PhD? Statistics, of course, because that's what I knew and what felt safe.
Looking back, I enjoyed most of my stats courses in graduate school, but I didn't love them. Yet something magical did happen in graduate school: I fell in love with teaching. I relished both my interactions with students and my preparations for class. At statistics conferences, I gravitated toward the education sessions, where creative teaching ideas were shared. I realized a completed PhD was my ticket to a job at a small liberal arts college, where teaching is revered. That's how I found the discipline to finish my PhD. My love was always for teaching, with a strong like of statistics.
So it's not so surprising I find myself looking for a new career path--one that makes my heart sing. One that is not the safe road. And I realize there are many and varied ways to teach. Regardless of my new professional chapter, I will continue to write, photograph, connect, share, and live life with an open heart. I was indeed born with the name Joy. And I think I was also born filled with joy. And that joy spills out more and more each day.