Both shame and scandal are common in the lives of all of us as humans. For some of us this is more the case than for others. I finished my Bachelor’s at UC Berkeley (2007), exploring the phenomena of shame, scandal and public shaming in an honors thesis on the dialogical and theatrical function of scandal in the works of Dostoevsky, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the departmental citation in excellence in undergraduate research.
I later studied Russian linguistics and culture at Moscow State University as a Fulbright Scholar (2010) before going on to earn two MA degrees from UC Davis, one in Comparative Literature in Russian and French (2013) and one in German Language and Literature (2014), with certificates in second language acquisition and critical theory. My Master’s thesis examined the intersection of Christian mysticism and existentialism, and what we would now call trauma and mental illness in selections from 18th – early 20th century Western literature. I also taught sections of courses on literature of fantasy and the supernatural, which examined literature through the lens of psychology and psychoanalysis.
Certificated/Credentialed Teacher and University Instructor
Directly out of my undergraduate training I pursued a teaching certificate in English and teaching world languages (2009), excelling in educational psychology. I am still a certificated teacher.
I taught Spanish, German, Russian and French as foreign languages, in addition to English, Literature and Psychoanalysis, English as a Second Language, and Translation/Interpreting in public schools and universities from 2009-2018.
In addition to being a trained hospice volunteer and Stephen Minister, from 2016-2017 I was a ministry intern at a Baptist church where I preached and delivered the sacraments. I explored many spiritual paths before becoming exclusively Christian, and so my Christian faith is infused with many Christian and non-Christian traditions.
Transition out of Teaching Profession into Writing and Coaching
After much discernment, I ended my formal career as a department chair, language learning specialist and classroom teacher in August 2018 after noticing a need for God, health and wellness in the educational process. I discovered that all three of these are severely lacking in modern education and so I research and write about these topics and their intersection on this website and also in two books I am currently writing. I want to be able to speak from my experience, freely, and to merge alternative approaches to health and education with the standard fare. And, when I do work with people in the future, I want to be able to work one on one with students and clients rather than in a group setting because that’s where I’ve found I make the biggest difference.
I have always been a very empathetic person who loved working with people and so some of this transition into a writerly lifestyle is difficult for me. But it is important to share my story and to help others find theirs and I just couldn’t swing it and be a full-time teacher at the same time.
I live in Seattle and am married to my high school sweetheart, Todd. We just celebrated ten years of marriage.
I am getting health coach certification early 2019.