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First days can be exhilarating, terrifying — or a mix of both. They mark the beginning of life’s chapters and define who we ultimately become. My First Day is a series that explores these important days through people who came to San Diego from elsewhere, and now call it home.

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Season Two


24. The Discovery

Ram makes a major scientific breakthrough, and finds another discovery later in life.


23. Transition Point

Ben Betz’s life as a Navy Seal is all-encompassing. Then, he leaves and begins his search for a new identity.


22. Poetic Illness

Poet Rae Armantrout sees changes in her body, leading her to a life-altering discovery.


21. New Land, New Sister

Idzai and Thelma Mubawai adjust to life in the United States and re-connect with their homeland through a familiar pursuit.


20. Choosing Paul

Paul Ryu arrives in Kansas from South Korea at age nine and quickly discovers new talents and confidence. When he heads off to college, however, he is presented with new challenges.


19. Not Your Average Game

Play-by-play announcer Beth Mowins and her journey to be the first woman to call a Monday Night Football game.


18. Punk Rock History Lesson

Robert Lopez, later known as El Vez, plays his first punk rock show at age 16, in the early days of the genre.


17. First Incision

Shira Robbins goes to medical school to become a doctor, unsure of where it will take her.


16. Student (vs.) Athlete

Reggie Robertson arrives on the campus of University of California at Berkeley, and struggles with how to be a football player and a student.


15. Stranger At The Station

Anna Tarabrina came to California and quickly fell in love. A routine doctor's visit put her love story on fast-forward. Follow us at Find more KPBS pdocasts at


14. Discovering Bird

When Charles McPherson first saw "Bird" Charlie Parker play he said, "I want to be that." Now, he's one of the most renowned saxophonists in San Diego.


13. And The Boat Moved Forward

Jane Via discovered a passion for Catholicism early in her life. Her strong faith ultimately forces her to test the boundaries of the Church she so dearly loves — and even faces excommunication.


My First Day Season 2 Trailer

My First Day returns! We have a new take this season — focusing on the moments in life that change everything. Our first day back is July 25. Subscribe now.

Season One


12. Hell Week

Ben Betz goes to Coronado Island to become a Navy SEAL.


11. A Trip Of Transformation

Artists Einar and Jamex de la Torre think they're taking a vacation. But they soon learn they’re leaving their home in Mexico for a new life in a new country.


10. Coming Of Age — A Crisis

He’s from an isolated Alaskan island. Cy Kuckenbaker, after receiving a devastating Christmas gift, leaves for San Diego and promptly begins a necessary early-life crisis.


9. Searching For Connection

Victoria Barana came as a wide-eyed 19-year-old from Brazil looking for an adventure and to learn English. She found a lot more along the way, including a visit from Dad.


8. Making Memories

Famo Musa and her family came from Somalia when she was young; everything felt foreign. Now with an American family of her own, she strives to make memories she missed years ago.


7. A Traditional Proposal

David Bejarano is a well-known San Diego lawman. But his life here bloomed from pure romance.


6. A Huge American Car

Magda Marquet is from a country you may have never heard of. Following the emerging biotech industry, Magda leaves her small home behind for a big American experience. And a car.


5. Highs And Lows Of War

Jack Ensch seeks adventure. Leaving the Illinois cornfields behind, he starts a new life as a fighter pilot. It's the Vietnam War.


4. Animal House

Mo Farazian is an Iranian engineer with a lifelong fear of dogs. After arriving late to a new university, the last residence has seven pets. Meanwhile: The 2016 Election sows seeds of doubt.


3. Pepto Bismol And A Birthday Cake

Leaving the Iraq war behind, the Naoom family sought new roots. In the U.S. they face foreign challenges: birthday budgets, new medicines, and a tough job market. Was the long wait worth it?


2. Snake In A Shirt

As a child new to San Diego, Donna Frye loved exploring local wildlife. Now, it's vanishing. So she's fighting to save it, and the memories within.


1. A Trip To Burger King

Walter Lam arrives in San Diego in the dead of night. He's a Ugandan refugee trying to build a new life. Walter faces his hardest days here — and some uniquely American experiences, like Burger King.


Trailer, My First Day

My First Day is a podcast from the KPBS Explore Project about starting a new life in a new place (San Diego, specifically). Season premieres June 21, 2017.

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You can share your thoughts and feelings (and YOUR first day stories) at

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Learn more about the host and creator, Andrew Bracken, at