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Homework: Bold Career Changes

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Homework: Bold Career Changes

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Homework: Bold Career Changes

Homework: Bold Career Changes

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NPR listeners are serious about changing careers: For the weekly homework assignment, listeners share their stories — including a woman who ditched the cubicle for life with a pooper-scooper.

ANDREA SEABROOK, host:

And if you're contemplating a change, you're not alone. Last week's homework assignment was to tell us about your bold and brilliant career changes. We got a lot of letters.

Many of you wrote in about giving up high-powered jobs to make jewelry, teach English, guide bicycle tours or, in the case of Leanne Frost(ph) from Pennsauken, New Jersey:

Ms. LEANNE FROST (Pennsauken, New Jersey): I was a regional HR director for a national department store, and I left it to start my own business. The business is named All Dogs Poop, and it is a dog waste removal service.

SEABROOK: Leanne says she gets to meet a lot of dogs, and she's never been happier in her life. Kevin Ricker(ph) of Carrboro, North Carolina, wrote in to say he'd always been interested in science but thought he didn't have the grades for a medical career. Then one day, as he drove to his job as a computer specialist at a medical school, he flipped on NPR and heard our own Ketzel Levine talking about another mid-life career change.

KETZEL LEVINE: Tom Taylor(ph) abhors tedium and delights in drastic change.

Dr. TOM TAYLOR (Physician): Well let's see, I bartended at Park City, I managed a retreat center in Marin County, and I don't know if this is good or frightening, but now I'm a physician.

Mr. KEVIN RICKER (Dental Student): And that really kind of turned the stove on, metaphorically. So I called up the school of dentistry at Chapel Hill, which was about an hour away from my house at the time, and I said what would I have to do to be a dental student?

SEABROOK: Kevin Ricker says he settled on dentistry because of a genetic condition that makes his own teeth fragile and prone to breaking. He'll start dentistry classes at UNC next month. Good luck Kevin.

And finally, we heard from Kyle Davidson(ph), who's in Columbus, Ohio, right now. He won't be for long, though, Kyle says he spent 15 years in information technology, but he's gotten more and more interested in international affairs, particularly the Middle East.

He writes: Politically, I lean left, and I'm staunchly against the war. Nevertheless, I decided it was time I took part in the affair, even if imperfectly, by rejoining the Army National Guard as a pilot and heading overseas. I turn 40 in six months. Two months later, I'll be in Iraq. Stay safe, Kyle, and thanks to everyone who shared their stories with us.

Next week, we want to hear about your fears, what they are and how you face them down. Write to homework@npr.org or call the homework hotline. That's at 202-408-5183. Make sure you leave us a number so we can get back to you.

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