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  • Writer's pictureKaren Herbert

Who is this Karen?

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

While I am a Boomer named Karen, I am not at all one of those “Karens.” Born in 1958, at the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation, I was raised with the pop-art optimism of the hippies and the ubiquitous presence of primetime television in comfortable white suburbia. My father subscribed to both city newspapers, one in the morning and one in the evening, both Newsweek and Time Magazines, and we listened to news radio on the house intercom. With those influences, I grew up dreaming about how to solve the problems in the world for a better future.

My first career aspiration was to be a large animal veterinarian serving in the Peace Corp and then working at a zoo, but I ended up in the field of engineering. Engineers can solve problems. Then the problems were ozone, pollution, and feeding the world’s population. Now we still have those challenges and a much larger matter of climate change.

I worked, married, and had children later than most. Even so, this part of my life went as expected. It was my move from the white suburbia of the Midwest to the much-integrated South that opened my eyes. I may have become that “Karen” had we not moved. Living, shopping, and encountering other races daily showed me the lessons I had only watched on my television or read in Time Magazine. I taught chemistry lab part time.

More recently, as my contemporaries planned retirement, I went back to work full time as the Chemistry Lab Manager. A year earlier, I had thrown a party and declared that “60 is the New 40” and what better than to start a new career, and now, a new blog.

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