I have always been a big fan of words. In college, I majored in Latin. My love for the language came in high school – I loved the mathematical predictability of the noun endings and the complexities of sentence structure. Nonetheless, near the end of my time at Bryn Mawr College, I realized how much fun it was to bring the skills learned through translations back to English. I convinced my senior thesis advisor to let me compare the work of three Latin poets with the American confessional poets of the 1950s and, upon completion, left Latin behind.
Three years after graduating, I headed off to Smith College to earn a Masters of Arts in Teaching English. On my first day of student teaching, my cooperating teacher, in his thirtieth year of teaching, looked me in the eye and said, “Here’s all that matters: you need to love literature and enjoy talking to adolescents, and you’ll be fine.”
He was right, of course. Since then I have worked exclusively at Friends schools, and our emphasis on honoring the voice of every student is something I never take for granted. How many professionals go to work in the morning and leave at the end of the day with new ideas about a book they’ve read two dozen times? How many are able to hear young people wrestle with the big questions of life in different textual contexts? I consider myself fortunate indeed.
Outside of school, I enjoy jigsaw puzzles and travel with my family. I also take part in the annual Greek tragedy that is being a devout Pittsburgh Pirates fan.