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What Brought Me to Davis

John Whitehead relates his journey to Davis.

Submitted by: John Whitehead, 3/11/09

This entry relates to the past.

Categories of this entry: Coming to Davis, Nature, Biking. 


I grew up in rural New York with a city Dad and a country Mom, so I'm a mixture.  I rode the school bus 5 miles each way for 13 years, and later decided my kid would not.  My siblings and I wanted to venture far on our bicycles, but we turned around before the nearest big dog by the side of the road.  As a young adult, I found cities exciting, but too crowded, smoky, and noisy.  So here I am, in a quiet place both rural and urban.


My childhood respiratory troubles all but vanished when I moved to California's warm dry climate in 1977.  The second chance at a healthy life erased any desire to live elsewhere.  As an undergraduate in Pasadena, I first became aware of Davis in 1980 when I applied to medical schools.  However, a coastal California prejudice said "middle of nowhere."  


After finishing my biology degree, I switched majors to engineering, which I had so far avoided because most of the engineering students wanted to make entertainment gadgets or fighter aircraft.  After the fuel shortages in the seventies, my interest was super efficient cars.  Late in 1981 I looked for graduate schools, and became aware of similar interests in the UCD College of Engineering.  I came to think of UCD as the best non-urban university in a healthy climate.

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