Linda Higdon:  

CLASS OF 1972
Mazomanie, WI
La crosse, WI
Cross plains, WI
Black earth, WI

Linda's Story

Life When you start to write your "life bio", you wonder what in the world would really interest people. But then, you say, "Who cares? It's my life!". I grew up on a farm just outside of Black Earth, Wisconsin (near Madison). I have seven brothers and sisters, so there was never a lack of fun and games. Of course, I hated all the chores we had to do (cleaning the barns, shoveling manure, hauling milk to the cooler, etc.), but when I left the farm I realized what a great way it was to grow up. We started out attending Catholic school, but then moved to public schools as I got older (see school bio). I was a pretty serious student in high school, and didn't participate much in extracurricular activities. I had just a few close friends, but I never remember being bored or unhappy in school. During college, I accepted an internship at the CIA in Washington, D.C. That was probably my first life-changing experience. I was living on my own and doing computer programming. I explored our nation's capitol, and learned a lot (oh, to be young and naive again...). After I graduated, I got a job working at IBM in Rochester MN for a few years, then moved back to Madison to work at CUNA Mutual Insurance. After a few years there, I decided I was tired of living in a place where the temperatures got down to 30 below zero, and decided to head for the sun. So I got a job at American Petrofina in Dallas, TX. Now, I must say that I escaped the cold, but I sure had no idea how hot it was going to be in the summer in Texas! Wow... I was on a co-ed softball team, and remember looking at the time/temperature sign on the bank across the street just before we started one 7PM game, and the temperature was 106 degrees. I wondered what the heck I was doing out playing softball in that kind of heat. Needless to say, I did not have a long softball career in Texas. However, while playing softball, I did meet a person who would change my life again: Jeff Higdon. Jeff and I got married in 1986, and were blessed with a lovely daughter, Stefani, in 1989. Unfortunately, the marriage did not work out as well, and Jeff & I divorced in 1996. I did live in Dallas for sixteen years, working a few years for Fina, one year for Bright Computer Services, and then finding the job and company that would be my home for the next seventeen years: Storage Technology. I started out as a systems engineer, and had customers all over the Dallas/Ft. Worth metro area. I loved working with customers to help them find the right solution for their data storage issues (a StorageTek solution, of course!) I eventually took the job as the district SE manager, then moved on to Business Unit Director for customer services and SE. In 1997, I was offered an opportunity to move to STK headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado, as a Director Of Marketing. Having been recently divorced, it seemed like a good opportunity to move on in my life, so Stefani and I moved to Colorado in May of 1997. I continued to work for StorageTek until May of 2000, when I experienced my first layoff. At that time, the economy was good, so I just hung around for about five months and enjoyed some time off. Then I found a job at a startup company as the Director of Information Systems. It only lasted about six months, and I was laid off again. This time, I went back to StorageTek on contract, as the acting VP of Sales Operations, and just recently ended that contract. I am now looking for my next opportunity. Meanwhile, my daughter and I added a miniature dachshund to our family, and have been living in Broomfield for almost six years. We love the mountains, the weather, the neighborhood, and our lives here. Stefani is now a teenager. In spite of the divorce, and a few job layoffs, I feel I am so fortunate, and have had a great life. School I started my illustrious school career in Kindergarten at Black E...Expand for more
arth elementary school. I don't remember much except that my teacher was Mrs. Clock. Then I moved on to grade school at St. Francis Xavier Catholic school. In first grade, I had a "lay" teacher - Miss Koch. About the only things I remember about first grade was the time I was sent to stand in the corner of the girl's bathroom because I had dared to TALK while the teacher was handing out valentines! Oh, the trauma of it all... Second grade was the year of Sister Lily and the bee sting. I admired Sister Lily so much that I decided that I was going to become a nun. Third grade was Mrs. Hutchins and the discovery that a boy liked me. But, of course, I was going to be a nun, so boys were out. Fourth grade was back to Ms. Koch again, and all I remember of that year was having to miss school to have my appendiz removed. Fifth grade was Sister Bertha, and I began to have second thoughts about becoming a nun. Sixth grade was Mrs. Festge, and this is when I discovered boys and realized that I could be a teacher without having to be a nun. Oh, joy! Sixth grade is also when I got my first pair of glasses. I really wanted glasses since my older brother had them. Oh, to know then what I know now! In 7th grade, I had Sister Josephine, and decided that I did not like her, church, or Catholic school at all. By 8th grade, my parents had decided to move us into public school, and I went back to Black Earth elementary. The first day of school, we lined up in the gym, and I met the girl who was to become my best friend all through high school and into college: Jean Arend. During 8th grade, I also acquired the nickname that would follow me through high school: pig farmer. It was not a name I liked, and I think Dean Oscar is to blame for me having the name. Since I was new, the boys asked me where I lived. I explained where our farm was and said that it was the only farm on that road with the house on one side and the pig barn on the other side of the road. The rest is history. In spite of my nickname, I enjoyed high school, although I wasn't in the "cool" crowd. I was a "brain", and had about four or five close friends. I didn't participate in extracurricular activities, except German Club and National Honor Society. I graduated as Valedictorian of the class of 1972. My best memories of high school center around my first real crush: Kelley Creamer. By the time I finished high school, I still wanted to become a teacher, so went to the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse to get a teaching degree. I lived in the dorms (Angell Hall the first two years). I didn't date much in college, but I did join the student government and was vice president for a year. I discovered that I did NOT have any interest in politics, but the person who was the president went on to become a local politician (James Hill). It was while in college that I accidentally discovered the profession that I came to love. I was majoring in Math, with the intention of becoming a math teacher. But I was also taking a few computer classes, and received a call asking me if I would like to apply for an internship with the CIA. I got to earn 15 credits by going to Washington, D.C., programming for the government, and getting paid for it. I loved it! When I returned from the internship, I completed my teaching degree. This included student teaching (6th, 7th, and 8th grade Math)at Hartford Jr. High in Hartford, WI. By the time the internship was over, I realized I was tired of school, and could also make a lot more money going to work as a programmer. I had a number of offers through college recruiters, but decided to except one from IBM. So, after graduating summa cum laude with a degree in secondary education, I left the schools and went into high tech. I have taken a few post-grad studies, but never completed my Master's Degree. It is something I still hope to do one day.
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