Reading is one of my passions, and maybe if I hadn’t also fallen in love with teaching, I might have become a librarian just so that I could be around as many books as possible. But I’m also a big talker, a tendency that doesn’t evaporate when I cross a library’s threshold. No doubt I would have been blacklisted before I even got through my library science degree or, at the least, branded “The Loud Librarian.”
Luckily for me, my experiences teaching bilingual kindergarten, Montessori 6-9, high school English, and university literature classes sold me on the writing and teaching life. I especially enjoyed my three years teaching high school in Houston, where many of my students were convinced they hated to read and write at the beginning of the year and equally persuaded of the opposite by the end of the year. I credit them with transforming me into an author, and I jump at the chance to reconnect with young readers through school visits and events.
Even my first students knew I was a big nerd, and I proved them right when I completed a PhD in comparative literature at Indiana University. Now I teach world literature at The Ohio State University and do research on Latin American literature, Latina/o literature, and narrative ethics. My husband and best friend Arnulfo is also a professor at OSU.
When I’m not reading, writing, or teaching, I am hanging out with our two sons, Liam Miguel and Ethan Andrés. In the scraps of time that remain, I like to run (I did the Houston Marathon in 2007 and the Chicago Marathon in 2009), eat local, bake (but let’s don’t revive the “Cookie Girl” nickname, please), watch movies, and play the occasional game of Scrabble. Arnulfo is a hard-core Metallica fan who is also addicted to Vicente Fernández’s soulful ballads, which means I also get plenty of exposure to an eclectic mix of music.
P.S. Awesome schools, programs, and places that have shaped my path: Bard College at Simon’s Rock, The University of Texas at Austin, Indiana University Bloomington, ACE (an Americorps program), Teach for America, and the German House Co-op.