"After graduating from the University of New Mexico with a Biology degree, I applied for a soil science job in Farmington,NM. I was warned that the man who ran the lab, the Chemist, was difficult to work with. If he approved me, I had the job. He was a much older man, Danish and wore a pissed off expression. He was a brilliant scientist, and he approved me and went on to teach me how to soil testing by hand rather than with instruments. We also both loved photography and one day I said, "There's a Diane Arbus show in Los Angeles - I wish I could see it." And he said, "Then go."I said there was no way I could go. I have to work and I didn't want to travel that far alone. He said, "Don't be one of those people that never sees or does anything in your life because you're afraid. Life is short - just go. I'll pay for the train ticket and clear your schedule." I took the train by myself from Farmington to LA, it was a great trip. He was the first person I told that I wanted to go to nursing school. And he told me at one point that he approved me being hired because I was nice to look at. Maybe it was a sexist reason for hiring me, but working for him changed my life." - Olinka Foster is a Clinical Research Associate with Veterans Affairs and a BSN/RN.