Who I Am

I grew up in Hartford City, Indiana and graduated from Blackford High School. I then went to Ball State and earned my BS in elementary education with a specialty in language arts. From Ball State, I went to Garfield Elementary and taught for two years before going to Anderson University for three years of seminary. When I graduated, I became a youth minister at Grace United Methodist Church in Hartford City, and I worked there for five years.

Near the end of my five years at Grace, I decided I wanted to go back to school to get my PhD in literature, so I found my way back to Ball State.  I finished my coursework and decided not to write my dissertation. I am excited to be able to teach high school full-time at Burris.

I am interested in American literature, specifically African American women’s writing, and more specifically slave narratives and neo-slave narratives. I’m also interested in the ways in which food and eating are sexualized, gendered, and classed in literature, and I hope to one day discover the hows and whys of why we eat what we do and how we do. I enjoy reading theological texts, particularly those about Christianity and Buddhism. I also like to read and write memoir, and I love to just sit on the porch with a good book and a nice breeze.

In my spare time, when I am not reading, I like to run, bicycle, walk, swim, play disc golf, and play with my pets. As you will discover, I am kind of a health nut, even though I remain a fat kid from birth. I follow a diet where I eat what brings me joy whenever I am hungry, and I try to limit refined sugars or carbonated beverages. My favorite type of food is anything spicy: the hotter, the better.

I am concerned about homelessness and poverty, civil rights, and environmental issues. I hope that one day we will live in a world ruled by peace and compassion, because I feel that is the only way we will ever be able to truly respect each other’s humanity. As the Dalai Lama says, “I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for oneself, one’s own family or nation, but for the benefit of all humankind. Universal responsibility is the key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace.”