I am the eldest of three children. I have a sister and had a brother. My sister and I are 16 months apart, and fought like cats and dogs (and just as different) until we were both married. She has two bright and adorable girls, Abrianna (3) and Shawna (2). My brother died in December 2007 when the trailer of scrap metal he was hauling to make money for his daughter's first Christmas blew a tire. He was 21 years old and my best friend. I miss him every day, but I am thankful his beautiful, rambunctious daughter, Sarah (3) is still in my life. She has a new sister, Abigail (1-1/2) who is all smiles and a Momma's girl. Our best friends made my husband and me their three children's godparents: Kristen (15), Kirkland (13) and Kaylee (10). My parents have been married 29 years, and they are my inspiration, strength and biggest fans. The only exception would be the love of my life, Tony, my husband of seven years.
When I tell people how many times I have moved in my life, the first question I usually get is, "Military brat?" I smile and quickly reply, "Worse, construction worker's daughter." Of course, my Daddy was only a construction worker until I was seven, but he made good use of that time. We moved into my 19th house when I was ten. Despite the number of addresses we accumulated, we only lived in the greater Houston, Texas area and a few cities in Alabama. My parents and sister still live in that last house in Toxey, AL, a smaller than small town in west central Alabama on the Mississippi state line. I moved to Mobile when I was 18 because it was close enough to my parents, not a concrete jungle, but still a city. The only other place I've lived is outside of Denver, CO for six months with my husband and loved it, but family health issues pulled us back to Mobile. Someday we hope to move away again, but unless we have money to travel home often or my family moves with us, I do not know if it will be anything but a dream.
I am a jack of all trades, and master of none. I am the quintessential nerd/ bookworm. I love to read, and until I married, I could be found with my nose in a book most of the time. Now days, I spend what free time I have watching movies or the science or history channel with my husband. We love MythBusters, and I love crime shows and science shows. I don't get to spend nearly enough time with my wonderful nieces, but they are my heart. A lot of weekends you can find my husband and I shooting pool with our best friends and our godchildren. I love canoeing, crocheting, and learning new languages, but have very little time for them. I guess one last interesting tidbit would be that I love to donate platelets. I am A+ and have CMV- blood, which means they can give my blood to newborns, and I think that is amazing because less than half the population can do that.
I chose USA initially because it has a great biology department. Although science is not my first love (history is), I have never wanted to be anything other than a teacher. When we were kids, I use to bribe my siblings into playing "school" with me during the summer. I love learning and it doesn't really matter what the subject is, although history, religion, politics and science are my favorites to discuss. I actually got a taste of teaching this fall (2010), when I was hired based on my first degree, a B.S. in Biology by the Drop Back In Academy, a school for young adults who had dropped out, but still wanted to earn a high school diploma not GED. It was great, although far from easy. Most of the students fought me tooth and nail when I gave an assignment, slept or stared blankly while I lectured, and rarely performed well on exams. However, there were a few who kept my dream of imparting a love of learning for the sake of learning alive. Having a father, brother and husband who suffered through school because teachers couldn’t be bothered to work with their ADHD emblazed a desire in me to help others who are told “they can't...,” “they won't...,” or “they'll never...,” accomplish all and more. With inclusion though, I decided not to pursue a special education degree so I could work with nerds like me as well.