Five Things about Me..

I thought I was going to get away without being involved in this one, but since Will tagged me, and since he revealed a love for Tess of the D’Ubervilles, well okay, I’ll play, too, as a way to ease into this new year.

Five Things People Aren’t Likely to Know about Me from my Blog:

1. Between sixth and ninth grades, I was a Thomas Hardy freak. I read and reread all of his novels several times–I still own the tear-stained copies. The heroine of an unfinished novel I wrote in 1997-8 was equally besotted with his work.

2. I was known in high school and college as the best Mick-Jagger-performing/singing-“Jumpin’ Jack Flash”- imitator of all time. Seriously. I was awesome. Shoulda done something with that gift…

3. Until I was 25, I hadn’t given a thought to teaching anything much less English and writing: through high school, I was determined to save the cheetah in Africa (an animal behavior class my first year at Williams College put an effective halt to that dream); during college I thought I’d become a silversmith out in Taos (still haven’t made it to New Mexico); after college for a couple of years, I ran an Asian art gallery in Seattle and thought I would pursue a PhD in art history, specializing in Sung Dynasty Chinese paintings (going to Chinese language summer school changed my mind).

4. To save me from a boy I was interested in and whom they deemed “trouble,” my college roommates dared me to ask out a boy I didn’t like, didn’t want to have anything to do with, and who was about to graduate and spend two years traveling around the world. To prove to my friends how preposterous an idea it was for the two of us to go out, I did ask him out–to my shock (and dismay) he said yes. To my even bigger surprise, I fell in love with him on that first date, and now I’ve been happily married to him for over 25 years!
(I wish I had a picture as fabulous as Terry’s from that era all cued up here–I’ll hunt around for one.)

5. I have an embarrassing childhood nickname that I’m not about to reveal here!

I tag Barbara, Laura, Toril, Helen and Spencer.


5 Responses

  1. Oh boy. Here goes:

    1) My great grandfather, George H Browne, wrote in 1913 the “Handbook of Figure Skating Arranged for Use on the Ice” and is credited for bringing European figure skating (and the figure skating blade) to the United States. He is honored in the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame. He also started (in his free time?) an independent school in Cambridge MA that still honors his name: The Buckingham Browne and Nichols School (

    No I can’t skate to save my life but this might explain why I have been working in and around schools for so long…

    2) I am a copyrighted cartoonist.

    3) My appendectomy scar is in the shape of the letter L, a souvenir given to me by the surgeon who took it out when I was 15 and on an exchange program in Lima, Peru.

    4) I was Connecticut State champion in Judo in High School.

    5) I have an original autographed Emilio Pucci toilet seat cover.


  2. Barbara, that is so cute!!! I love to hear about secret things like this, and it appears to me that you do have some outstanding talents other than your teacher and writing talents, and suggest you should pursue some of your singing and performing talents now that you’ve taken a sabbatical 🙂

    I’ll reply to my tag by the end of the day since I’ve promised myself to stay off the Internet as much as possible as I’m in dire need to pursue my master thesis that is due February 15!!

    You may have guessed that I’m not too successful since I’m here visiting your blog and making a comment, but I will refrain from a deep dive into a past which I may have conveniently forgotten about…. Nevertheless, I admit I love being tagged and will reply to it asap 🙂

  3. Actually I didn’t confuse it, the other Barbara! I was responding to the original blog post written by Barbara Ganley 🙂

    Nevertheless, I also enjoyed your response, and with that kind of dna pumping through your veins I suggest that you start practicing your figure skating skills as you may have qualities you are presently totally unaware of, and I know that the US would love to have a new Olympic figure skating champion!!

    I spent a lot of time figure skating as a child, but it was all just fun and play since we didn’t have any couches available to enhance our skills or indeed innate abilities 🙂

  4. Sheesh, Barbara S, you could go on one of those tv shows, a To Tell the Truth episode and have people guess any one of those remarkable facts about you–great anecdotes. Cartoonist? Do tell. And why haven’t you blogged this–interesting that your blog is strictly business? Perhaps it’s time for an additional blog for you…

    Toril, if we don’t have a little fun on our blogs, then we’re taking ourselves far too seriously, don’t you think? You do a great job mixing up the serious business of being a grad student and the funnier moments in life.


  5. I completely agree, and thank you very much, Barbara!! Me in a nutshell 😉

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