I live in the College Park neighborhood and work in the International Studies Program and the Office of the Provost at Franklin & Marshall College. I grew up in New York City, went to high school in Massachusetts and for a semester in Tangier, Morocco, and then went to a Quaker college, Earlham College, in Indiana, where I majored in French and English. I spent semesters in my freshman and senior year in France and, after I graduated, moved to France and lived in Paris for eight years, working as an interpreter and production assistant for National Geographic. I moved to Lancaster in 1991 and immediately loved it here. I worked for 12 years for MapQuest (originally
R. R. Donnelley Cartographic Services) as a travel writer, editor and researcher, coincidentally writing for and editing many National Geographic travel books and maps.
Three people now living I would like to have lunch with: Barack and Michelle Obama, Joe Sestak, Jhumpa Lahiri, my daughter's friends at college... I could come up with lots more.
The cause I most believe in is:
empowering people against whom the odds are stacked. This is why I am on the school board in the School District of Lancaster
. We have a culturally rich and diverse community, great kids, dynamic schools and talented teachers and they need to be empowered and protected, particularly in the current climate that seeks to label poor urban districts as "failing."
Name three things on your bucket list. Explore Turkey, live in France again, learn Spanish.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Initially a veterinarian, later a writer
My greatest accomplishment is... My two children, whom I have raised by myself and who are the best thing that has ever happened to me.
My unfulfilled ambition is... Writing a novel
In the Jura Mountains, France
Three words to describe me are... Independent, curious, funny (people tell me that at least).
Tell us something about you that most people don't know. I don't like to travel... I have loved living and working in other countries and speaking foreign languages (mainly French and Italian with a smattering of Arabic, Spanish and Russian) but I do not like to go somewhere for a week.
What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? My kids. Mackenzie is a rising sophomore at the University of Vermont and Liam is a rising sophomore at JP McCaskey. They inadvertently require me to be the best person I can be and I am so lucky to have them in my life.
What's the farthest-away place you've been? Egypt, where I worked on a National Geographic story on the 14th century Arab explorer, Ibn Battuta.
What do you think Lancaster will be like in ten years? Even better. When I moved here from Paris in 1991, I fell in love with this city, wondered if the people here realized what they had. I remember saying "this town needs a Renaissance" and that has been happening now for many years, I am happy to see. I have spent most of my life in New York City, Paris, Venice and Lancaster and I love all of these cities dearly.
What do you consider to be Lancaster City's greatest asset? Its eclectic and diverse population, its magnificent architecture, its geographic location in prime American farm country near several big cities and its ever-strengthening dedication to being a great place to live and work.
Grabbing a bite in Lancaster with - $5, $10, $30 - Where (and what):
Himalayan Restaurant (chicken tikka masala)
Urban Olive (falafel sandwich)
Checkers (PoBoy tuna sandwich)
Ma(I)son (plat du jour)
What are the best aspects of your job? I do a lot of event planning for lectures and cultural events at the college and that allows me to continually broaden my horizons. It's important to me to keep learning and I am lucky that all of the jobs I have had have been jobs that involve a lot of international contact and knowledge. There is nothing I love more than being a part of students discovering the issues, languages, cultures and problems in the world that they will become passionate about. We are one people on this planet and the more we know about and understand those who are "different" from us, the better off we are.
Would you describe yourself as introverted or extroverted? Extroverted, definitely.
What is your coffee shop drink of choice? Tea (strong black with milk) or an occasional cappuccino
What music are you listening to now? I like an eclectic array of music – French, Italian, Arab, stuff like Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Talking Heads from my past but also stuff my kids like that I can't even name. I have never had the patience to be "up on" current music.
Best advice from your parents... You can do whatever you put your mind to.
What should they have taught you in school but didn't? How to touch type.
If there is one thing life has taught me it is... Life does not go the way you plan it to, and that's okay.
Lancaster City Living – Lancaster PA