The first section of this perspective explains how my early years shaped my thought processes, how I was shoved into academia, and how I stumbled onto a track to employment, tenure, and retirement at a single university. I always sought a broad education to support studies of mostly descriptive biology that were driven by my curiosity and the diversity of the amphibian life cycle. In that regard, I experienced the benefits of being gainfully employed without just having a job. The second section highlights my graduate students, collaborations, and research focus on larval amphibians at Mississippi State University. I felt it was my responsibility to prepare undergraduate and graduate students for their choices of life's pursuits. At the end, I try to think about the future study of larval amphibians, and based on technological advances and the sporadic insights of a few lucky persons, I am optimistic about what will happen.
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Vol. 52 • No. 1