Cetacean Bio (Julie Griffith)

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family object
japan poster
border justice
crossing the valley
open letter

A new me

My personal history has little to do with the migration of my family from England and Ireland. I was born into a family who was already deeply involved in a religious cult. I spent my entire childhood blissfully ignorant of people outside our religion. All I knew was that all other people were "worldly" and I was to have nothing to do with them. I grew up very quickly and married very young to a man who had converted to our religion. My experiences with that man, horrible as they were, made me realize that there was a great big world outside the one I was living in that was filled with kind, loving people. They were nothing of the horror I grew up believing they were.

The first big step I made was moving away from the small town in which I was raised. This was actually pretty easy since I was married to a beast who needed more anonymity than a small town could provide. After spending many more years being physically and emotionally abused, I was able to take my children, including his daughter that I had raised as my own, and move to Arizona where I divorced the monster.

While in Arizona I worked for many years with my sister as an interior designer trying to support and raise my children. Once my children were grown I realized how woefully inadequate was my own education. I took a frightening leap in 1999 and enrolled in a marine biology class at Phoenix College. I had not at that time been enrolled in classes in more than twenty years. My love for anything to do with the ocean, an amazing instructor, and a nurturing atmosphere convinced me that I had made the right decision. I have been in school since that first tentative initiation and have managed to go from a part-time to a full-time student. I hope to eventually get my PhD, move to the water and study my favorite creatures on the planet, cetaceans (whales).



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