bjford: who he? why?

Ellen I. Paul toodles at
Thu Feb 2 12:52:14 EST 1995

In article <wendyw.11.2F307090 at>,
 <wendyw at> wrote:
>On 29 Jan 1995 14:35:15 GMT, Ellen Paul wrote (amongst other things):
>> I was hoping, eventually, to ask all of you 
>>for advice on my situation (earning a master's at 39, then thinking about 
>>doctoral work) but I don't want to hang out with a bunch of intolerant 
>>people - and this is the first hint of intolerance I've ever seen here - 
>>and it really surprised me....
>>Ellen Paul
>>University of Maryland
>>Graduate Program in Sustainable (ahem) Development and Conservation Biology
>From my experience of lurking on this newsgroup, any advice you are seeking 
>is likely to be found here!
>I was wondering why the "(ahem)" you not think 
>development is sustainable?
>Wendyw at

Wendy - thanks for your response.  No, I have yet to see any examples of 
sustainable development except some very small projects, and these 
generally don't generate enough income to have much future.

Having been encouraged by your kind response, and also by the presence of 
my good friend, Cathy Quinones, I will indeed seek the advice of all here 
-including Brian Ford!  I practiced law for 10 years, hated every minute 
of it, along the way became addicted to birding, then to nature, then 
decided to work in conservation, since I couldn't figure out a way to get 
paid for watching birds.  I didn't think I could handle the math and 
science for a PhD, so I chose this program instead - although it requires 
a fair amount of math and science.  Now I have conquered many mountains - 
for instance, I worked through a self-directed math program, starting 
with high school algebra and ultimately, took two semesters of calculus. 
I have started my second semester of biometry, and I have found that I 
can not only handle the biological sciences, I also find them to be the 
most interesting, worthwhile classes I have ever taken.  So I have 
decided to backtrack into undergraduate work, complete the requirements 
for entering the PhD program, and do what I originally wanted to do - 
field biology.

What I want to know is whether this is an absurd thing to do, considering 
I will be 45 when I finish?  Would it be better to stay in conservation 
and sit behind a desk (I do this very well, but I hate it!) - not better 
for me, but where can I make more of a contribution?

Sorry this was so long, but I have condensed four years into one post - 
hope to hear what all of you have to say.

Ellen Paul

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