Updated: Nov 2, 2020
Pronouns: Him/His Number of years in career: 7
Astrological sign: Taurus
Where are your family roots from? Everywhere, but the heritage I most strongly I identify with is from my Mother's side of the family. My grandfather on mom's side came straight from Scotland, and spoke nothing but Scots Gaelic when he got to America. Her mother was Scottish as well, but grew up in Maryland and St. Petersburg. I have spent the majority of my life in the Gainesville area.
How have your parents/guardians/teachers/mentors influenced you? My mother is the most kind and giving human I know. She taught me to be compassionate and loving. My father was a fantastic non-example, and was good at helping me exercise empathy and understanding of another's perspective. I've learned to love completely and openly, and that I always need to be cognizant of the fact that others have pain and experiences from which they approach life that I can never truly understand or may not ever know, but that they deserve love and compassion.
Can you remember one childhood memory of happiness and one of fear? Happiness: Spending time at my summer camp near Live Oak, FL. It is truly a place set apart from the world, and any time I'm there I feel close to God and nature. Fear: Basically every day I had to attend school. It's a major reason I'm an educator. I needed to be a teacher, and to make school a safer and better place for others. I made the determination in the first grade.
Is there something in your life that you feel very passionate about? EVERYTHING! I am extremely passionate about people, animals, nature, God, love, art, beauty, magnolias, copper, soft cloth, sewing, paper, shoes, weird objects and oddities, age, weather, wind, the sun, water, creating, teaching, being present... If I feel anything for anything, I feel all the feels for that thing, and that includes most everything. It's a beautiful and confusing world. I love it.
If you could be any animal, what animal would you be? Why? Dog. Hands down. All they want to do is love and feel joy, and eat, and sleep, and soak in the sun, and provide comfort & healing, and they are the most magical creatures to me.
What is it about being a/an_________________that keeps you satisfied in your career? The fact that I can create. I can make connections. I can encourage. I can show students they are capable of so much more than they'd thought possible. I can help them heal. I can give them access to processes that open up doors to their own hearts and ways of becoming more and more whole. I can be silly. I can be serious. I can tell my students they are amazing and beautiful and loved. I can create a tight-knit family in each class that extends beyond the classroom and builds lifelong connections.
What is your creative process? And major influencers? I am all over the map. I create jewelry, ceramics, photography, paintings, and drawings. I love experimental processes and materials. I am deeply influenced by the Dada movement and use art as a means of creating avenues of healing. I don't feel unfocused, yet I may appear to be. I am experimental to the point of being open to a bit of everything. I love discovery and play, and am fond of finding new ways to create and express myself on a continual basis. My two main areas of focus these days are jewelry and painting.
Can you tell us something you just learned that intrigued you? I have been studying Culturally Responsive Pedagogy for about two years. There are a thousand different revelations I've had through the course of this learning, and no single issue stands out. I feel like learning to see yourself more clearly as a means of understanding others and that we all come from different perspectives and lived experiences has been very revealing. Knowing that you don't know what you don't know, and becoming more aware and open to others has been a beautiful thing.
What is something people often get wrong about you?