About me...

Dying to know what I look like? Look here*.

Basic stats for those who need to know just the bare minimum about me and won't bother reading the rest of my page:
Age: Twentysomething
Education: Earned a B.A. in English with a concentration in Celtic Studies and a minor in Anthropology. Also recently earned an M.S.Ed. in Secondary Education, English, and am expecting state certification soon, as I passed all required PRAXIS exams. Both degrees courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania and way too much of my money. I feel they'll be very much worth the cost and effort in the end, though.
Favorite books: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess and Wicked by Gregory Maguire, plus many others.
Musical taste: runs the gamut from electronic/industrial to 80s pop. Perennial favorites are the Cure, Apoptygma Bezerk, Garbage, and Hooverphonic, as well as 80s comps and cover albums. Current favorite odd cover is Front Line Assembly and Tiffany doing U2's "New Year's Day". No, really.
How I view myself: shy and fairly quiet initially around people I don't know well; known mostly by friends as a nurturer. College nickname was "Den Mother", if that's any indication.

The show must go on...
A bit more about me.... I graduated in May 2000 from the University of Pennsylvania. I received my B.A. for a Celtic Studies Concentration in the English Major, along a minor in Anthropology. In the last semester of my senior year, I submatriculated into Penn's Graduate School of Education in order to pursue an M.S.Ed. in Secondary Education, which I received in May 2002. Ideally, I would love to teach modern Irish literature at the college level, although for now I'm quite happy with a general high school English course. I really enjoyed my student teaching experience at University City High School, and this made me realize that I may want to devote more time and effort towards teaching in an urban environment.

I feel like I've actually accomplished something with this education, and I've recognized a great deal of personal growth over the past seven years. There have been many changes and challenges in my life, but I've been lucky enough to be able to learn from them and move on than to dwell on them. I hope that I will continue to grow and learn about myself through graduate school and beyond.

On a much lighter and happier note, I am still a "geezer" in the Penn Band, which basically means that I've been in it for more than the standard 4 years. I show up when I can to play in the stands, and it's great to run into college friends who are now scattered all over the country. Luckily, only those who went to Penn the same time I did can remind me of when I dressed up like this for them for a halftime show for an audience of 15,000 people. But that's another story...).
I've been playing the trumpet for about 15 years now, and I guess it paid off- I was designated as Chop Section Leader the second half of my freshman year, and being the only female, I got nicknamed "Den Mother". Even after the new section leader started, the name still stuck- I guess that's what happens when you bake cookies for your section and try to make them behave better. Years later, I'm still "Den Mother", even over two years after graduation. I still love my section though, even if it does frighten me to think of people I helped recruit into the band graduating already.
(P.S.- I was the one responsible for the text on the Chop Section page (and may the Tigers not lynch me for admitting that). The graphics are Bjorn's effort.)
In college, I was also a member of the Fanfare Honor Society, which is, well, the band's honor society. I was vice-chair for this organization a few years ago, and stayed quite involved until grad school took over my life.

Although I quit a few years ago, it's still worthwhile to mention that I used to be part of the staff for Camp-Ins (overnight programs geared towards ages 6-12) at The Franklin Institute. It was a lot of fun working there, playing with liquid nitrogen and all, and a great hands-on approach to teaching science to children and adults alike. It's definitely a great job to do if you're in the Philadelphia area.

I recently left a job I held for over six years at the Center for Hereditary Retinal Degenerations of Scheie Eye Institute in Philadelphia. I worked there for the year that I took off from school, and I even got to test my first patient at age 19! (I would do mostly psychophysical and some electrophysiological testing to determine rod and cone function in the retina.) After several years, I got more involved in the research aspect, and am currently published in an issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

During my undergrad years, I was also part of STWing; the Science and Technology Wing at Penn. Interests there ranged from science fiction, computers, and science classes to more important things like Calvin and Hobbes and Animaniacs. Luckily, they had nothing against non-science majors (such as myself)...

It's quite a bit of fun- especially due to the neat murals we've added to the 2nd floor of the King's Court dorm (where I lived freshman year; there've also been recent additions to the 19th and 20th floors of High Rise South / Harrison House). There's The Far Side (the infamous 'Midvale School for the Gifted' with 'Princeton University' as a name substitute), Calvin and Hobbes, and even my own artistic venture (i.e. how I procrastinated studying for finals during the last term of freshman year)- Warhol Plans to Take Over the World: more or less Pinky and the Brain in really funky colors. You can view my mural either here or here.
Here a few pictures of them that served as my inspiration.

Pinky on the Brain

Planning to take over the world...

The basis for my mural (and it makes a really neat wallpaper, too!)

*For those who don't know, that's actually a picture of Janeane Garofalo, who I've been told I look like. Just thought I'd let you guys know, seeing as that already two guys e-mailed me to tell me how hot I was.
(So if you actually do want to see pictures of me, go here.)

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