About Sums Me Up

I'm Jenny Schlax. 

I am a writer, dammit - and a scientist. 

Most people don’t get to do what they love as their “day job.” I’m one of them.

That’s not to say I haven't liked my day jobs. In fact, I had several day jobs I really enjoyed. Of the 26 different jobs* I have had in my short (ahem) life, I have really really liked a few of them.

I especially liked dying white satin shoes to match the color of prom gowns at a shoe store inside the Riverside Tyler Mall when I was 16. I really really enjoyed baking cookies in a shop inside the same mall while simultaneously working at the shoe place – I gave coworkers from either place discounts at the other, I hear it’s called “the princess discount,” however, this term is not verified.

I didn’t mind working as a waitress at Chevy’s Mexican Restaurant during college, eventually working my way up to bartender, the Holy Grail of positions in any chain restaurant.  During the same time period, I volunteered at the UC Davis Raptor Center, where I worked several evenings a week aiding in the rehabilitation of owls. That was really cool. I am a biologist dammit, not a server.

After college, I drew blood from the jugulars of cats and assisted in the removal of testicles from dogs as a Veterinarian Technician in Santa Cruz. Moving on up to performing diagnostic tests on blood drawn from sick babies for the UC San Francisco Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Until, finally, I was published… As an assistant in two eco-entomology research studies for UC Riverside that required I stand out in the Inland Empire desert and count bite marks on the leaves of Datura wrightii made by beetles, specifically Lema daturaphila. For two years I did this. Two very long years. And although this was a dream of mine – being published, this process was my definition of Hell. I eventually developed an allergy to the plant, almost killed myself in a chloroform incident in the lab, until ultimately I ran out of grant funding. Thank the universe.

Onward and upward to attending graduate school at UC Santa Barbara, where I received my Master’s in Education within 13 short months. Thirteen of the hardest months of my life. Here I learned I could essentially do anything I put my mind to, even if my body disagreed.  Degree in hand, I only lasted one year teaching in the public education system. They are a strong organization, so that is all I will say about that.

I decided to leave my one-year career in teaching to pursue a career in radio. A Dream Job!! Having won a walk-on position through a month long on-air contest at a local Santa Barbara radio station, I proceeded to co-co-host a morning show, Monday through Friday, 6am to 10am. With two boys. Just me and the two guys…  With partial payment given to me in free shows and booze, 6am eventually became a difficult hour to be awake and entertaining. The late nights, early mornings, and lack of income took its toll on me, and I finally took my leave of this position after three years.  At the time, it was the longest I had ever stayed at one place.  It was really that fun. I was just that tired. So, so very tired.

I eventually moved on to Pharmaceuticals. Testing them, not ingesting them. And I had a great stint managing Clinical Trials at a Medical Device company before they closed down their Santa Barbara office. Now I work fighting cancer by supporting clinical trials with Pharma Partners working towards developing targeted cancer treatment therapies. I'm kind of a cancer fighting ninja. 

I also write. I don't get paid for it, but still I write.

I write a recurring music column for an online magazine (www.edhat.com). I provide content for miscellaneous events and venues throughout Santa Barbara. I write short non-fiction stories occasionally on my blog, with the hopes of pitching stories to some big time magazine or Oprah. She's considered a Santa Barbara local, so it could totally happen.

But that’s enough about me.