I’ve always loved books. English was always my favorite subject in school and I am now an English teacher myself. I didn’t start writing stories until I was in high school and I didn’t really start writing seriously until I enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Massachusetts in 1990. I wrote several stories while I was a graduate student and published one called great expectations in a magazine called The Crescent Review.
It wasn’t until I was about thirty years old that I decided that I wanted to teach. My first job out of college in 1985 was working as an Administrative Assistant at Chase Manhattan Bank. After leaving the bank, I worked as an intern at Harper’s Magazine, one of the most enjoyable positions I’ve ever held. I left New York for New England in 1987 and held several part time jobs including writing for a local newspaper. My first teaching job was in an alternative junior high school. It was at that time that I decided I wanted to become a teacher.
I believe my most important educational experiences occurred while I was a graduate student at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was during the year I was on sabbatical in Santa Fe studying Eastern classics that I finished my novel Everything Beautiful in the World, a book I’d started writing years earlier. I’ve grown to love New Mexico and hope to live there one day.
At the moment, I live in Easthampton, Massachusetts where I teach English and coach tennis at The Williston Northampton School. I have a dachshund named Scout and a cat named Kitty. What I like best about my life here is the fact that I get to work with young people. Seeing the intelligence, humor, creativity and resilience of teenagers gives me great hope for the future.
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Lately I feel like an astronaut out on a space walk – constantly praying the tube attaching me to the ship doesn’t snap and send me flying into outer darkness....