I work at the College’s Early Learning Center as their full-time Floating Teacher, which means that I go into classrooms where teachers need breaks – or help cover for teachers who are out – and help clean, change diapers, play with children, and in general promote the enrichment of our early learners. I literally ‘float’ between classrooms, since I am rarely in the same classroom two days running, and can sometimes be in as many as three classrooms a day.
Tell us a little about your professional background.
I actually started working for the Early Learning Center two years ago as a part-time teacher, since I was still a student, and became full-time this last fall quarter. Before that, I started my own private piano studio teaching beginning students in their homes. And even farther back, I began a small fiber arts business selling my own creatively spun yarn and finished products, i.e. bags, shawls, hats, fingerless gloves, etc. I continue with both businesses, and actively attend fiber festivals and pedagogy trainings.
What was your first job?
My first job was at a small puppet company in Tennessee when I was about fifteen or sixteen. They toured around the country with their own productions, collaborated with local artists and dancers to create new forms for their craft, and also traveled to local schools for puppetry workshops and performances. I would go to the small house they had their office and workshop in, and deep clean and organize after workshops and performances, file paperwork, and transcribe their scripts onto the computer.
Describe yourself at 10 years old.
At ten, we were partway through our second of four moves (six houses, five states, all in less than twenty years). I was homeschooled with a brother four years younger than myself, and several cats (this was before a farm was ever in the works). I had been in an environmental science 4-H club, and when we moved I started a Horse 4-H club, which I also continued in after I moved for the third time. The move was also the excuse I needed to quit learning piano, because at age ten, I hated everything about music and had to be forced to my lessons. Kind of crazy now that I am actually basing my career around it!
Are you messy or organized?
It really depends on the situation and how I feel. Some days I’ll be like a little hoover vacuum cleaner and go around picking everything up and putting it back to its proper spot. I’ve also been known to color code things and make compulsive lists. Other times I’ll be too tired or overwhelmed to move things and let things slide, until I can’t sleep in my room anymore because the mess is too much for my brain to ignore.
What is your favorite meal?
I love the creamy mushroom soup my mom makes. She actually picks the chanterelles from our farm, cooks them and blends them, and then adds a ton of heavy whipping cream. We either bake our own or heat up artisan bread for dunking and then pour a bit more cream over the top before eating.
What do you do in your spare time?
I do a lot of music after work and on the weekends. I practice piano for my lessons, but I am learning the guitar, dulcimer, and Native American flute for a future in music therapy with special needs children. I also add to my fiber art stash; this summer I spun a dozen skeins of yarn and have plans for using up the rest of my unspun fiber. My family owns a farm, so when I am actually home on the weekends I help out with the feedings and basic farm chores. We also go hiking or driving up in the national forest behind my house and up the Mountain Loop Hwy.
What’s on your bucket list?
I haven’t had the time to make a true bucket list yet, but I do know of places I want to visit, or at least revisit. My family used to take a weeklong vacation in the fall, such as the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, Vancouver Island, and very frequently England, since that’s where my mom is from. All of these places are places I fully intend to go back to for vacations in the future, though western Washington will always be my home base.
What is your favorite hobby or pastime?
Apart from my music and fiber arts, I like to spend time with my horse giving him brushes or bathes, and if I really have time work with him so I can start riding again. I also spend a lot of time with my mother, we’re very close, and enjoy visiting thrift stores and book stores, and watching Hallmark movies on the weekend.
What are you reading right now/ what was the last book you read? (Or, what is on your Fall Reading List?)
I just picked up Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel at the library. I have watched the miniseries they made of the book, and was so excited I decided to read it. There were almost thirty people on the waitlist in front of me, so I can imagine that a lot of other people really enjoyed it too!
Do you have a favorite newspaper, blog?
If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?
Iceland’s October 24, 1975, called the Women’s Day Off, or as the men knew it, the Long Friday. Although this really was not a long time ago, it was a crucial moment in equal gender representation in politics, as the first woman president in the world was elected in Iceland five years after the strike.
Where is your hometown?
Technically, I was born in Raleigh, NC, but I only lived in the area for five years before moving to Sarasota, FL; then Augusta, GA; Centerville, TN; and finally ended up in Granite Falls, WA. My family has never stayed in one place more than five years, and moved with my dad’s job, so nowhere has really felt, or even qualified as a hometown so far.
If your life were a book, what would it be titled?
I would want it to be called: ‘I’d Rather Be Sleeping’. Because I probably would be…
Do you have a favorite quote/ piece of advice?
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”