me

really – you want to read this, eh? well. to expand a bit about me:

i was born in ’73 in the mountains of southwestern virginia and i was raised in blacksburg, va and around the campus of virginia tech. my parents both have their phd’s, and their spouses also have phds. i started this phd thing in 2006 and that’s when all these phds in my family really impacted me. i have one brother who lives in chapel hill, nc. although i don’t see him much, i do adore him and am glad that he and no other brother is my brother.

after high school i spent 7 years in georgia getting 2 degrees, and then in august of 1998 i moved to eugene, oregon – on a whim. it took me awhile to find community there, but now i have, and really eugene is my home. i am a proud eugenian, even with all its faults.

while in eugene i finally became a part of organized peace and justice work. back in high school i was an activist on and off and did things here and there, and i still have my mondale and ferraro button from 1984, but it took me awhile to actually start organizing. i worked with a variety of different groups – organizing against the iraq war, managing political campaigns, fighting the patriot act, working for basic human rights.

my work was rewarding, and the people i got to share my life with remain a part of my life. i go back to eugene when i can. i miss it terribly, but the more i’ve gotten into the end stages of my degree the less time i’ve spent out of cache valley.

after years of talking and working in for peace, it wasn’t until august of 2007 that i made a true commitment to pacifism.  what i mean is for me peace isn’t just about countries not bombing each other, but also people not bombing themselves and each other.  as i try to walk a pacifist’s path i understand that it’s not just fists that can be violent, but how we talk to each other.  to me the roots of war are in the hands of each of us – how we talk to and treat ourselves and each other.

a lot of things have happened during my tenure here getting this phd. in 2008 i went to the west bank of palestine with the christian peacemaker teams. those two weeks changed my life forever. i think every day about going back to palestine. i want to take my phd work to palestine.

yes, i went with the christian peacemaker teams. i finally came out as a christian when i got here. that was a struggle. i’ve toyed with four denominations during my time here and have finally joined the episcopal church – the one my dad was raised in, that my grandmother was raised in as well. it’s a good church – i love the liturgy. i also love that there are people a lot like me in the church – people wanting to see peace and justice happen for our world.

april 24, 2010 my father died. i don’t know if i’ll ever believe he’s gone. i don’t like that he’s gone. i loved him more than i can say. i lost 18 months on my dissertation work because dad died. life happens and these added years have opened up opportunities i could have never dreamed of. i guess that’s the gift dad gave me in his death. i’d take dad back not to have those gifts, but i accept them as they are and won’t turn them down.

what else? i wasn’t going to mention it, but i guess i should. i manage a chronic illness. it dictates a lot of what i do and how i do it. yes, if i could change it i would, but on the other hand would i have the people in my life that i do? would i have stayed on the east coast if this illness didn’t affect me? i don’t know, i can’t predict the past.