So, in an effort to let people know more about me, and about what I do, here’s a little rundown.

Twenty One Things You Should Know About This Blogger

1. I am, how do you say, a Bleeding Heart Liberal. Actually, that’s not how I self-identify. I consider myself to be a “Progressive Populist” first and a “Yellow Dog Democrat” second. I want to effect change for the greater good. And I don’t think this country’s ready for a third party, so the Democrats best fit my beliefs. Not perfectly, but close enough, for now. So, why did I just call myself a Bleeding Heart Liberal? Because most people, looking in from the outside, would call me that. I believe in Gay Marriage, government-run social programs, and paying a little more in taxes if it means that some kid doesn’t have to go hungry or some soldier gets to go to college or some innocent person can have a decent public defender. In addition, I refer to “my bleeding heart” in a joking way on a pretty regular basis.

2. I am an aspiring novelist. I have two in the works, but lately have been stymied by the holidays. I’m hoping to get back on track soon.

3. I was a high school teacher for a very short time, and grew up in a family of educators. This probably explains a lot about #1. But it also means that I have a fervent belief that public education works.

4. I went to Duke, and I have a love-hate relationship with my alma mater. I had some pretty dark times there, but some awesome ones, too. My love-hate relationship with Duke does not extend to Duke Athletics, however. I am a rabid fan of the Men’s Basketball team and a season ticket holder for Women’s Basketball and Football. They totally rock. I also enjoy the soccer teams. I don’t understand the game of lacrosse, so I don’t know if I’m a fan of those teams.

5. I worked in Residence Life for 6 years. This means that, for 6 years after I spent my 4 college years living in dorms (which is a dirty word in Res Life—it’s Residence Hall, thanks. Dorm = “dreary old room of mine”, okay?!? Even though the students will still always call them dorms. Sigh.) , I elected to live in dorms with younger students and oversee their experience, which sometimes included discipline. I hated that part of my job, because at least half the time, I totally sympathized with the “bad kids”. They’d leave my office and I’d have to shut my door for a few minutes, because I’d narrowly avoided laughing while they were in my office.  Now, when they did something that endangered or hurt other students, I could get really angry. But especially when they were creatively bad, I was more impressed than pissed.

6. I lived in Hot Springs, Arkansas, for nearly two years. I was a Residential Mentor at the Arkansas School for Math and Science (ASMS, now ASMSA since they added “The Arts” a few years ago). One of the things that still makes me smile about that place (besides all my awesome friends) is when some of the kids would sneak out and spray-paint “org” on the big sign out front of our building that said “ASMS”. Get it? See, I told you I loved the bad kids.

7. Speaking of funny sign vandalism, when I was at Duke, the International House and the Canadian Studies building were right next to each other on campus drive. When I was a senior, someone painted “of Pancakes” on the I-House sign (this happened often, actually) and then inserted “Bacon” onto the Canadian Studies sign, so that it was the “International House of Pancakes” and “Canadian Bacon Studies”. I’m a big fan of stuff like this, even though I feel bad for the poor maintenance people who had to clean that up.

8. I went to the University of Texas at Austin for grad school. I really loved Austin, even if I didn’t like UT so much. (Though it was nice that I got to go to a football school for grad school, since well, my undergrad was not so much about that sport.) Even so, UT does an amazing job of hooking (ha! That pun was not originally intended.) you into being sentimental. I still get teary-eyed every time I see the “We’re Texas” commercial where they fly over the top of the tower. In addition, my first day at Texas was the 30th anniversary of some dude who went crazy and shot a bunch of people from the top of that tower. That was fun.

9. In contrast to my experience at UT, when I worked at UCSB, I loved the campus, but not the city. Sure, I loved the beautiful surroundings, the weather, the beach, the fun downtown area. But I was used to real community and a quirky, diverse population, like Austin. You can’t really find that in SB. But I made some of the most amazing friends ever while at UCSB, both with students and staff, and I miss them every day. And when it’s especially cold, or especially hot, or especially humid, I miss the weather, too.

10. I am a pop-culture fiend. I read a lot of celebrity gossip, and I like being one of the first people to discover a hilarious new viral video on YouTube so that I can pass it on to my friends.

11. I can’t decide if I have political aspirations for myself, or if I just want to be some high-profile politician’s chief of staff. That would be cool. I would also like to be an artist, and to make a living off my artwork. Plus I still love student affairs. I’m
thinking of going to graduate school in Public Policy. Really, I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. I’m thinking of going into modeling…

12. Elizabeth Dole is my arch-nemesis. I think she’s 100% pure evil (as opposed to Ivory Latta, who is only 99.44% pure evil… hahahaha). I consider it my mission in life to take her down. I will volunteer for every Dem who opposes her. If no one can take her down, then I’ll do it myself. (Please, crazy Republicans, do not take this as an assassination threat. I am a peaceful girl, and I am afraid of guns. I get nervous just standing next to a police officer with a gun in his holster. I am not out to kill Liddy, just her career.)

13. I’m madly in love with Bill Clinton. I really wish he’d just go ahead and leave Hillary for me. So, ok, sure, we’ve never met, but we had a moment this one time when he was speaking at UT, in the Frank Irwin Events Center, even though I was in the second Mezzanine. I just KNOW it.

14. I develop incredibly inappropriate crushes on older men. Now, most of these are non-sexual (Bill Clinton would be the exception that proves this rule). But I squeal and want to reach out and squeeze some older men whenever I see them. Examples? Larry Faulkner, Allan Gurganus, Dick Brodhead, Mike Kryzyzewski, John Hope Franklin, and Eddie Hull, for starters. Unfortunately, I live in the same city as those last four, so it can be hard to suppress the SQUEEEEE instinct when I see them in the grocery store.

15. 1337 totally cracks me up. I only use the most basic forms of it, like LOL, OMG, etc. For a while, I tried to use 1337 as a spoken language, like saying “Woot!” when something good happened, or “Ohh Emm Geee” pretty much every five seconds. I even learned how to finger-spell OMG in sign language so I could say it to my friends across the table in meetings. It didn’t really catch on. Sigh.

16. I am a walking contradiction when it comes to nearly everything. One example is that I can be very traditional in some aspects (like, I don’t want to have to ask a guy out; I want him to do the pursuing.), but very non-traditional in others (I don’t feel the need to get married; I’d be happy with a long-term, live-in partner. And I’m straight.).

17. I have an unhealthy (for my wallet, at least) obsession with Starbucks (or, as I like to call it, StarBourgie). That’ll be an Iced Venti Two-Pump Caramel Skim Latte, please. Yes, even though it’s snowing outside, I’d like it iced, thanks!

18. Sometimes I want to punch Oprah in the face (like on the road trip, when she needed her 300 thread-count sheets in the hotel every night but insisted she would love to live the Amish lifestyle?), but I still love her. I recognize how ridiculous this is. And man, I totally love Gayle. She rocks!

19. I love underdogs. I’m a life-long fan of the Chicago Cubs and Bears (not the Bulls, though—they won too many titles when I was a kid). I have season tickets to Duke football. And in 1992, I pulled against Duke. I became a fan of Duke in 1994, when they lost to Arkansas in the National Championship that spring, and had a truly dreadful season starting the next fall.

20. If you were to ask me, “If you had to do Experience X over again, would you do it differently?” I will probably say no. Even in the worst times, I’ve learned something really important about myself or the world. How can you trade that in?

21. But I digress. A lot. You probably already noticed that, huh? I have this friend, who, if interrupted while telling a story, will pick up at the exact moment that he left off, even if it’s several hours later. For me, I rarely make it to the end of my initial story, because I will get sidetracked by background or a funny word thatmakes me think of an entirely new story…

*Inspired by the fantabulous song, “Twenty-one Things I Want in a Lover” by Alanis Morrisette. Thing #22 you should know about me? I like to make up words like “fantabulous.”