My father is from Scotland and my mother is from Wales. They got married in Britain and immigrated to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1963 when my dad had a post-doc at the University of Michigan. (An interesting side note: they took the train to Scotland to say goodbye to family and were greeted by my uncle with the words "your president has been shot." It was November 22, 1963). I was born in Michigan and when I was only 6 weeks old we moved to Santa Barbara because my dad had his first job as a biology professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He worked there until just last year when he retired. My mom also worked there (more on this in question 4) until she retired about 6 years ago.
So, all my relatives live in Britain (and one set in Salzburg, Austria). We try to get over there every other year, but that doesn't always happen. Britain really is like a second home to me, especially now that my brother and his family live there (they moved over almost 3 years ago).
It's funny, I love traveling and I love coming home. I love planning a trip, thinking of all the possibilities that await us, exploring new places, meeting new people, and then after about two weeks, I am ready for my bed, my stuff, and my regular life. Then, once I am home, I start thinking of where we can go next.
Growing up we visited Britain often (see question 1) and we had a cabin that we shared with another family in Inverness, CA so we went there every summer. Since my dad is a professor we took sabbaticals every 7 years. At age 5 we lived in England for a year. When I was 12 we did it again and my dad had a Guggenheim Fellowship to travel throughout the "third world" to do research. We took 3 months off school and traveled with him to Kenya, India, Sri Lanka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong (where a set of cousins was living at the time). This trip taught me the love of travel and an interest in other cultures.
As a junior in college I lived in Germany and Austria, traveling to Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, France and the Netherlands.
My brother and his wife have lived abroad a few times so I took advantage of that visiting them in Peru, Vietnam, and Cambodia. My ex-husband's family now lives in Oman so I've also been to Oman and the UAE in the Middle East. Since then I've added other European countries, a bit more of the US.
Places I'd still like to go? All the US states, Australia and New Zealand.
3. What did you like or dislike about teaching History and Government?
I really enjoyed being a high school World History and American Government teacher. I enjoy working with teenagers, talking about the history, getting them excited about how our government works (or doesn't) and helping them become informed voting citizens who want to participate in a democracy.
What didn't I like? Discipline. It just isn't in my personality to be strict; I am more laid back and relaxed and expect people to behave themselves since it's the right thing to do. That didn't always work out the way I wanted it to.
4. How did you get into the technology side of your library job?
I have always been drawn to computers since my mom ran computer labs out at UC Santa Barbara. I am comfortable with trying new things, figuring out how to make them work to my advantage, incorporating them into the curriculum, and exploring. The use of technology fits really well with the Teacher Librarian job so it's been a natural fit for me.
Perfect timing on this question since Veronica Roth's book Insurgent came out yesterday and I bought a copy for my school library. It won't make it to the school until after the weekend since I am going to read it first! I would also start to tackle the adult lit books on my TBR shelf. I tend to leave them until vacation time when I feel I have more time to read.
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