by Erin Murphy
IBM, Distinguished Engineer.
Your parents were both from large families in Ireland and they worked hard and thrived in the US. What great role models they were; hard working people who still found time to enjoy life with their family and friends. It was a bit unusual to have a Mom who was a Registered Nurse, a woman who worked as a professional, albeit part time, in an era of stay-at-home Moms. Your parents instilled in you a serious work ethic. Providing educational opportunities to you and your siblings was one of their primary objectives.
Remember when Mr. Burke signed your 8th grade graduation book and said “don’t sell yourself short?” I know that comment left you scratching your head wondering what he meant, but take it from your older and more experienced self, he saw something in you that you didn’t quite see yourself. He saw that you were holding back from realizing your full potential, deferring to others when you could have stood up and asserted yourself.
That was 8th grade and you went from a co-ed elementary school to an all-girls Catholic High School. At Good Counsel Academy, you had the awkwardness that comes with the teenage years, but you also began to assert yourself and be self-confident. You thought that you’d prefer to be at the local public high school, but you were taking opportunities to lead that you probably wouldn’t have had in a larger environment. You discovered that your favorite subject was Mathematics and that is what you will major in at Boston College.
When you leave home to go to college, you will not realize at first that you need to be disciplined about finding time to balance your homework, an afternoon job, and partying with your new friends! After getting some “not so stellar” grades in your first year, you will recover and bring your grade point average up so that you ultimately graduate magna cum laude. You will learn that you really can rely on your friends, your professors, and most of all yourself, to succeed.
From your older and somewhat wiser self, Erin