Livin' la Vida Loca ( Living the crazy life)

Starting from the Start
by Liseth Manrique Zeder -- October 15th, 2012

I found out about the DEL MEM program a couple of years ago while looking for some alternatives that could suit my educational needs. I was between two online options and local programs in Peru. However , I arrived to the conclusion that DEL MEM was almost the perfect alternative for me, because I didn´t want to quit my job and being able to apply directly what I learned was an amazing opportunity to convince my boss to support me during this journey! By the way, my boss is my dad so he was excited to see this win-win situation.

So I decided to apply to DEL MEM, only DEL MEM!

The day that I received in my inbox the e-mail from the program director, Sherri (now Assistant Dean), I felt that my heart stopped. All the work (applying became a second job), all the planning, all that time invested and my goals depended on that single  e-mail.

Then I read:

“I am pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to begin study in the Duke Environmental Leadership Master of Environmental Management  program …”

I was so excited! I told my husband, family and friends and I heard the same bipolar comment everywhere:

“Great Liseth! I’m so proud of you …Are you crazy? You have a full-time job and kids!”

Today, after two months of starting the program I believe that I’m starting to organize my life according to my new activities. Some days I think I’m going to collapse, some days I’m so tired I only get to kiss good night my kids, but after delivering every assignment I feel so proud of myself. Every time I feel hopeless, from all the work, I can e-mail one of my new friends and find out that they are going thru the same. Even though I knew them  in person for a week at the place based session on August, I believe I start to know them and they are getting a little more familiar to me.


  1. Tawnee
    Oct 15, 2012

    Liseth, I’m so glad you were able to join us here at Duke and happy to hear that juggling all your different roles is becoming a bit more manageable. Thank you for carving more time out of your very busy schedule to share your story with us!

    • Liseth Manrique Zeder
      Liseth Manrique Zeder
      Oct 18, 2012

      Thank you Tawnee, I’m working on my second post about the first place based session , and gathering some pics.

  2. JR
    Oct 15, 2012

    Do you know of any alumni on a adventure like you but studying or exploring micro algae ?

    • Liseth Manrique Zeder
      Liseth Manrique Zeder
      Oct 18, 2012

      JR I don´t know anybody exploring micro algae, but I’ll ask and tell you.

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