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Mark Young

"Lately, it occurs to me,

what a long, strange trip it's been..."

The Grateful Dead. "Truckin'." On American Beauty, edited by Steve Barncard, 10. Burbank, California:
Warner Brothers, 1970.

The more I live, the more I realize just how apt those timeworn lines were and are, as they perfectly describe my entry into Planning. Quite frankly, it was an accident made on a careless whim.

During my last undergraduate semester in San José State's Civil Engineering program, I lacked the six units needed to be enrolled as a full-time student. Alas, the classes that I had intended to take, such as Introductory Acting and Wine Appreciation, were full, which led me to rummage through the catalog in dismay. On a whim, I found a course titled "Local Transportation Planning" and decided to add it because I thought it might be interesting, solely based on the course's name and not even a cursory glance of the syllabus. Despite my showing up to that class two hours late, I was able to add the class, and I soon found myself fascinated by the concepts and principles of transportation planning.

That was how I ended up in Planning, and I still consider that decision to add a class for no better reason than "I think it might be interesting" as one of the best decisions I've made in my life.

My present focus is transportation planning, with a pinch of land use planning, a smidgen of urban design, and a sobering touch of disaster planning, that last a relic of my misspent youth. For fun, I load up a rucksack and wander about cities just to savor the randomness of urban life. I have no idea where I will end up in the future or what I will do for a career, but so long as I can leave the world a little better off, I will be content to see just what strange adventure life has in store for me over the years.