What made you want to become a teacher and what is your favorite part about it?
“I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was probably in middle school to high school. I had some really inspiring teachers who showed me things about myself that I would’ve never known otherwise. I learned a lot from them, they helped me a bunch. So, you know I always thought, gosh, if I could just touch one person the way some of my teachers taught me, then I would consider my life a success.”
Are you originally from Colorado and if not what brought you here?
“No, I grew up in Dallas, Texas. I moved here in 1996, and now my husband and I both just finished graduate school. He got a job here in Grand Junction, so that’s what brought us here. We were looking for towns that allowed us easy access to great outdoor activities.”
What are a few things you are very passionate about and why?
“I am definitely one of those people that has multiple passions. Obviously one of them is what I do; teaching. In particular, one of my favorite classes to teach is mythology and I am very passionate about mythology. I love it. I love learning about it; I love talking about it. But beyond that, I am also extremely passionate about whitewater boating. That’s pretty much what I spend my summers doing. Skiing as well; I’ve worked as a ski instructor for the last 25 years.”
Are there any activities or hobbies you wish to learn that you haven’t yet already?
“I cross country ski and I ski classic style, but I really want to learn how to skate ski. It looks fun, it looks fast, and I can’t do it right now because I need to have a knee replacement, but once I have my knee replaced, I’m going to learn how to skate ski.”
Who or what gives you inspiration?
“I find inspiration in the act of trying to be my best person every day. If I am able to be my best person, then I’m probably doing right by my students. It’s not so much for me an external motivation, it’s more of an internal motivation and inspiration. Just to simply try to do my best every day.”
If you could leave your students with any life lessons, or pieces of advice, what would that be?
“It would be a lot. In particular, in English 112, the class that you’re in, one of the things I really want people to leave that class with is the understanding of if they hold a very strong position, I want them to know why they hold it, as opposed to just holding a position because someone told you to, or you grew up that way.”
What are some of your biggest pet peeves?
“It kind of goes back to what we were just talking about. I get frustrated when people hold positions that they don’t really understand. If someone holds a position and they have really solid reasoning behind it, even if I completely disagree with it, I’m going to respect that.”
What is the most inspiring book you’ve read and why?
“I belong to a book club, and my friends in my book club always tease me that I always relate everything back to Homer’s Odyssey. But I absolutely love that work. It’s got everything in it. You’ll never ever need to read a self-help book if you read Homer’s Odyssey. It’s an absolutely brilliant work.
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you were older?
“I went through a phase where I wanted to be a doctor. I either wanted to be a doctor or a veterinarian. But then I got to college and took organic chemistry, and that pretty much smashed any of those dreams.”
If you were to go back in time to meet one person that has passed, who would it be and why?
“My grandfather on my mother’s side. I never met him. He died before I was born and I’ve heard so many stories about him. He sounds like he was a pretty amazing person, and I would just like to have had the opportunity to meet him.”