I am an educator, writing coach, and editor. I live in the mountains of North Carolina where I spend as much time outside as possible. My parents moved us from a town in Connecticut (a town with sidewalks and friends in walking distance) to the top of a mountain in the rural South (with nothing but mountain views and gravel roads) when I was eight; while I was shocked then, I am grateful now to have such a love for nature and to feel immediately calm if I can hike under trees or swim in cold water. After some time studying Marine Biology, working in event planning, and doing nonprofit work, I’ve focused on my passion which has always been writing and literature. I teach high school classes on rhetoric and composition and on creative writing. I have two football-playing sons who keep me laughing, keep me from buying any more houseplants, and (generally) keep me in check.
- I used to coach a competitive poetry team; it combined my love of language and storytelling with my intense competitive nature. (As I write this I am doing the Sealey Challenge of reading one book of poetry a day for the month of August.
- I have two rescue beagles. I got the second one to keep the first one company. He did not appreciate my gift.
- I am pretty confident I could identify any wildflower or tree leaf you put in front of me (so long as it grows in the southeast).
If I were a dean of admissions this is an essay prompt that I'd want students to answer: Real learning requires us to not only gain more knowledge, but also to figure out what we don’t know. Tell us about a topic on which you once had a clear opinion but have since developed a more nuanced and complicated view. What experiences shaped that new understanding and questioning?
What do you spend too much time doing? I spend too much time pep-talking my robot vacuum.
Which historical figure would you like to meet? Toni Morrison. I’d love the chance to listen to her talk and ask how she went into her writing, always able to strike a balance between constructing complicated storylines and focusing on each person’s humanity. (All of this would require that I mentally prepped myself to do more than smile, cry, and gush.)