Q: Where were you born?
A: The great state of Idaho in the capital of Boise.
Q: What sports did you play growing up?
A: BASKETBALL! I was generally athletic and played others, as well, but because I was tall for my age I gravitated to a sport that best utilized my size.
Q: What was your dream job as a kid?
A: To be an architect. I have always enjoyed building things, so architecture seemed like a great option at the time.
Q: When and why did you decide to go into education?
A: Education and carpentry are traditions in my family, so I always had the idea of someday being a teacher. I started in Los Angeles when I was pursuing a music career and needed a part-time day job. I became a substitute teacher at a middle school, and they eventually asked me to fill the position of a teacher who left in the middle of the school year. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to go back to school to officially be a teacher. The rest is history.
Q: What is your biggest regret not doing during your childhood?
A: I wish that I would have studied abroad. It was not until I was an adult that I realized the value of living in a place very different from what is seen as “normal.”
Q: Why did you decide to move to Mexico?
A: To gain the experience, for myself and my family, of living in a different country, in a different culture, with a different language. In other words, to shake things up.
Q: What are the most stark contrasts between Mexican culture and American culture?
A: Though we have severe wealth disparities in the U.S., they were so striking and unavoidable that it was hard to grasp. One of the richest people in the world is Mexican while poverty was all around. It was hard to reconcile. At the same time, I am continually impressed with the degree to which family is a strong cultural trait throughout the country. It was very common for the extended family to get together every weekend. This habit is not as apparent throughout the U.S.
Q: What has been your favorite place to live so far, and why?
A: My college apartment. It was the first time that I was away from home and on my own. I had two roommates, but we were figuring it all out together. I truly enjoyed the independence.
Q: What do you miss most about Mexico?
A: The people. I have several friends that I will not be able to see as much as I did before.
Q: What is your favorite thing about Pinewood?
A: The sense of community. I feel at home here already. Secondarily, I love all of the swag! I already have several Pinewood shirts, mugs, and bags. It is great!
Q: If there was one thing you could add to the Pinewood culture, right now, what would it be?
A: Having spent so many years in bilingual schools, I would love to support any efforts to promote the use of other languages (especially Spanish) throughout the school. Even though the majority of our students have experience with Spanish, I rarely hear it from the students outside of Spanish classes.