Thursday, October 11, 2007

Jenni B.

Hello fellow classmates. I am happy to hear you all are doing great. It is a lot of fun to read your updates and see your pictures. Here is my brief catch-up for the last 15 years:

After graduating from CSU, I headed out to California for my graduate work at U.C. Davis, the same school Daria attends (crazy we ended up at the same school!). I finished up my Ph.D. in Microbiology in 2003 and married Jay that year. We then moved to San Francisco so he could start his graduate work in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Yes, I am the Western scientist and he is the Eastern. We have lived in the bay area for the past four years and absolutely love it.

However, we have decided to move to Iowa to be near Jay’s family and to actually dream of owning a home (a million dollars for a 3-bedroom home? I don’t think so!). We are in the process of relocating now and will be settling in the Des Moines/Ames area. I will be starting a job at Iowa State doing research on the bacteria Yersinia pestis, the bug that causes the plague, and Jay is celebrating the opening of his practice.

We have been fortunate enough to travel to some amazing places.

We visited my family in Thailand 2 years ago, bringing my father along so we could communicate (sadly I do not speak Thai any more). We had a wonderful 3 weeks traveling around the country and seeing my grandparents and extended family.

This year we traveled to China. Jay went for 4 weeks before me to study and then I joined him for 3 more weeks of travel. We had a great time, but really miss the food (our favorite was a bowl of fresh, hand pulled noodles for about 35 cents!). Thankfully Jay speaks Mandarin, so traveling around via plane, bus, taxi, and train was pretty easy.

Still no kids, but now that we will be living in Iowa, we will start to think about it. We did recently adopt a dog. We found her at the local animal shelter; she is a 6-year-old golden retriever who we have named Sandi. Along with Sandi we also have 3 cats, 5 fire bellied toads, a hermit crab, a corn snake, 23 fish, and just this week added 3 pet rats. I am also taking care of a friend’s pet finches and when I have the chance; I raise orphaned wild birds. In the past year, we have had chickens, a rooster, ducks, and several turtles spend some time in our bathroom too. Ok, yet another reason to move to Iowa, so I can some day have a farm.

Well, I look forward to the 20-year reunion! Thank you Brandon for keeping us all in touch ☺


Elena Cruz Cunnings said...

Ok- we are terrible!! Please email me!! Tell Jay hi! Isn't this amazing that brandon did this? I live an hour away from your mom and I will come and see you!! Call me!! 760-809-8117

Daria said...

Jenni!—it’s great to hear what you’ve been up to!—so glad to hear you’ve gotten a job at Iowa State and that you and Jay can be near family. : ) I work for someone who has connections with the ISU Institute for Behavioral Sciences, so, if by some chance I ever head out there for some research stuff, I’ll have to look you up. : ) I can only imagine you’ll miss the Bay Area, but I dig your fantastic list of animals in your life, so—you will probably have a lot more freedom to keep animals there in Iowa. ;-)

That is SO cool about you getting to travel in Thailand and China—I’d love to hear about your China travels: it’s been a dream of mine for a long while to travel all through the country, but…I don’t speak or read Chinese, so, um, I’d have to do the traveling with a group, or something! ;-)

Well, Dr., I’m currently applying for jobs, since I am supposed to be finishing my PhD this summer…it’s good to hear of someone else actually getting through all this looong process! Haha…
Daria : )