Susan Skrabanek:  

CLASS OF 1981
Hatfield, MA
Atlanta, GA
Dunwoody, GA
Doraville, GA

Susan's Story

Life I spent all of my time from high school on through my sophmore year of college seriously studying classical piano, which was the hardest thing I've ever done. I had moderate success winning a number of competitions/scholarships, but eventually determined I couldn't keep up with the really top notch performers in this field, and so I changed majors and got 2 undergraduate degrees at the same time, one in philosophy and one in anthropology (basically, because these subjects interested me and I didn't know what else to do). As an anthropology major, I worked on a number of archaeology and forensic science projects, and after graduating, I got a position as a field/lab archaeologist at a firm in Atlanta. This was a fun job, working interesting archaeological and sometimes forensic cases throughout the Southeast, but a dead end career (archaeology is too much fun to pay a decent wage!) Eventually, I went back to school to get a law degree and I clerked at a divorce law firm (this was definitely not fun and it didn't pay either!) By the time I completed my law degree, I decided I hated the legal profession, and managed to wrangle my way into the IT industry as a technical writer/trainer during the late 90s when there just weren't enough people to fill the IT jobs (must be why they took me!) I worked in the late 90s as a contractor for a variety of firms in this capacity, which was a much better career path, and something I found came very naturally to me. Eventually, I landed a permanent project management position at IBM, where I've been ever since in a great job that I love and that also allows me to work from home, anywhere in the country. In the spring of 1999, I decided I couldn't take living in Atlanta anymore, and considering my employer didn't care where I lived, I decided to relocate to the beautiful north Georgia mountains. I bought a 10 acre tract of land li...Expand for more
terally on top of a mountain about ~2000 feet above sealevel not too far from the foot of the Appalachian trail, about halfway between Jasper and Ellijay (everyone thought I was insane). Shortly thereafter on a whim, I looked up an old pianist friend from my competition days who still worked as a professional pianist in town, and, long story short, 3 months later we were engaged and we married in October of 2000. My husband Todd, who is the incredible pianist I always wanted to be (and thus, I get to live vicariously through him) subsequently became the pianist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus (they won a grammy in 2003!) and he also subs on occasion as a pianist with the Symphony. Among his many jobs, he teaches/accompanies at Agnes Scott and Reinhardt Colleges, is the music director at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, and works for several different choral and opera groups around the city from time to time. He also works as a studio musician on various projects, and recorded, mixed and produced his first solo CD late in 2003 with the launch of his website, toddmusic.com. After we married, we bought another 26 acre tract of land right next to my other lot, which essentially gave us the entire 36 acre mountaintop to ourselves (well, us and the bears, deer, coyotes and asundry other critters that all call the wilderness home). In 2003, we began the long and complex project of building our dreamhome on this beautiful mountaintop, which was completed in spring of 2004, far exceeding our wildest expectations, thanks to our fantastic builder. We now live here in this amazing place (our mailbox is a mile from our house!) with our 4 dogs and 2 cats and are planning to start a family in the near future 2004-2005. I never had a plan to bring all of this about, but I couldn't have found a better career, husband, or place to live and I consider myself extremely fortunate.
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