F r a n k  H i l l
National Solar Observatory, Kitt Peak

Frank Hill points out one of the mirrors
of the huge McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope.

I guess that was the start of my scientific career. I also seemed to fool my teachers at school to the point they thought I was smart enough to skip grades-2, in fact. In retrospect, this maybe was not such a good idea since I had a hard time dealing with the older, bigger, stronger kids in my class! But I had a great science teacher, Mr. Friedman, in Junior High School. He was an enormous influence on my love of science, and one other thing I'll talk about later. I then went to a special high school for kids who liked science-the Bronx High School of Science-and there everyone was like me!

Well, I survived High School, and went on to attend the City College of New York (CCNY). I started out majoring in Electrical Engineering but, when my first EE course was more math and not building things instantly, I decided to go into physics. I had a brief period majoring in geophysics, but finally finished with a B.S. in physics. This turned out to be a wise decision since a physics degree is a great general preparation for a career in many fields like astronomy, geophysics, meteorology, and-of course-physics.

While getting my degree, however, I had become disenchanted with science. Maybe it was the culture (we're talking "the Sixties" here), or late adolescence, or school burn-out, but I decided to not go on to graduate school. Instead, I went to work as an audio-visual technician at a community college, and then in the U.S. Post Office. Next, I decided to move out of NYC to Boston where several friends had relocated. In Boston, I worked as sales clerk, and as a pharmacy technician in a hospital. Finally, it dawned on me (OK, I'm a little slow) that maybe I should go back to science and get a "real" career. So I went back to school, 4 years after graduating from college.

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