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Living Proof by Adam von Gootkin

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CHAPTER 1MCDONALD’S, THE MILITARY, OR COLLEGE

Why Taking the Road Less Traveled Really Does Make All the Difference

It all started with a mouse. Or perhaps I should say, it all started with a horde of mice. A horde of tiny, hairless, squirming pink mice that magically appeared in their mother’s cage overnight during the summer of 1993. I stared into the now-crowded quarters of my 6-year-old brother Josh’s pet rodent, Gizmo, with equal parts fascination and disgust. As the older sibling—I was 10 years old at the time—I couldn’t help but feel the sudden weight of responsibility bearing down on my young shoulders. Those creepy little creatures would get big fast.

“What are we going to do with 20 mice?” I wondered aloud. “There’s no way we can keep ...

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