I had my first teatime in 1987 in Anaheim, California when my mom, Julie, read aloud Midsummer Night's Dream from the Leon Garfield's Shakespeare Stories. I ate lemon yogurt and thought Hermia was the most beautiful name I had ever heard. My love for words and narratives continued at the Ohio State University, where I earned my BA in Comparative Cultural Studies and French.
While in college, I led small groups of junior high students in weekly discussions of body image, religion, and cultural heritage. These discussions were my first realization that I love creating community with young people. After graduation, I taught English in France at a junior high and a high school. Teaching English forced me to re-learn all the "nitty gritty grammar" I thought I'd left in homeschool. By the time I left France, my English grammar had improved as much as my French.
In the past three years, I have been the resident Boomerang Book Club facilitator and now host the Arrow Book Club, as well! I love this job, as it gives me an excuse to read all the time and then talk about it! I recently got an Audible account so that I can listen to audiobooks while grocery shopping. The Boomerang Book Club has allowed me to re-examine old favorites through new lenses, while exploring new novels that have been previously overlooked by the literary canon.
I'm now a counselor at a high school in Brooklyn, where my appreciation for the importance of stories has only grown. I have found that the more narratives a young person is exposed to, the more their capacity for empathy and curiosity grows. I look forward to teaching the Book Club each year; it has kept me connected to the homeschool community and to works of fiction that make up the groundwork for my relationship to reading now.
In the coming year, I will teach myself Spanish while living in South America and chatting online with my fabulous students.