Why is this blog is called the “Book and Nature Professor”?
When I was 6 years old, my favorite show on TV was “Wild Kingdom”. My hero was Marlon Perkins, whose work with animals was featured on the show. I had to watch every week. I realized that what I was watching on TV was research to save all of these species. Not long after, I found another hero who would be just as influential in my life, Dr. Jane Goodall. It was my dream to go into the wilds of Africa and study animals.
Fast forward and I am going to college. My dream is still alive. I enroll in college as a biology major. I took every class that was about animals or the environment. College courses opened my eyes to so many new things. While I knew it would be wonderful to go into the wilds of Africa, I now realized there was so much work to be done right here. It was in college that I fell in love with birds, birding and bird banding. I started bird banding as an undergrad and was fascinated with all aspects of bird behavior. That became my passion-studying birds and behavior.
More fast forwarding. After graduating, I married (still am, and happily, too). I began working at a state college in science programs for underrepresented students. It was a job I would hold for 22 years. During that time, I was still busy. I earned a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science and we had 2 children. For my master’s degree, I did an internship at a local bird sanctuary. There I found another passion-working with birds of prey and other animals. I loved it. Handling birds of prey is amazing. They all have their own personality and it was fascinating. I expanded my bird banding experience, and eventually became responsible for all the banding at that site. It is work that I continue todayWith all my banding experience, I wanted to start my own work. I am now a federally licensed Master Bird Bander..
That’s the nature part.
During my 22 years working in science programs, I was approached and asked if I would be interested in adjunct teaching for biology. I started with one course and really loved it. Having done environmental programs, public speaking was not a problem. Being in the classroom is a wonderful experience. I left my job of 22 years and am now and Adjunct Associate Professor of Biology at a local college. I love my job. Every semester is a new experience. New students, new interactions and new dynamics. My teaching philosophy is that while I am a professor, I am also a student. I can learn from my students as much as they learn from me. I am never so arrogant that I stand in front of a classroom and think I know everything. My students are like my kids and they are my priority. I will help them succeed as much as I can, but, I always say they have to meet me in the middle. I can help them, but they need to work, too. Once I am their teacher, I am always their teacher. That’s what it means to be an educator. We are preparing the next generation. No need to worry, I know them well and we will be in good hands. Let’s make sure that we give them a good world to inherit. That’s the professor part.
I love reading. In 2019 I changed my entire blog to focus on three of my passions: books, nature and photography. I began doing book reviews and have found it so rewarding to share the books I love. That’s the book part.
I love to draw. I’ve had no formal lessons, but my father was an amazing artist. Guess I lucked out and inherited some of his talent. I love to travel, lift weights and work out. It’s a way for me to disconnect for awhile. Photography is a fairly recent hobby. I am an amateur and always trying to improve. I will post my photos in the Gallery section.
Last, but not least, I am a black belt in Judo. It was one of my proudest accomplishments. I am not a naturally athletic person. I hated gym in high school. My husband is a 4th Degree Black Belt and was teaching a kids class. I would bring one of our kids down to take the class. A friend said I needed to get on the mat. So I did. My husband was my teacher and I eventually assisted with class. It took almost 10 years (I couldn’t compete so it took longer), but I persevered and when I passed my test, I cried. I worked hard and so many times I was tempted to quit. But I didn’t. Moral of this part-if you really want something, go for it. It’s not a cliché saying. I accomplished something I never thought I could. You can, too.
I hope you have made it this far because this sums up who I am. Life takes you in directions you never thought it would. I have traveled some wonderful paths. Some other paths have been a little more difficult. But all in all, I’m happy with where my travels have taken me. I hope your travels are happy and peaceful. Peace.