I must confess. I love learning, and I always have.
As a child in Mississippi, books mesmerized me, and there was nothing better than reading. I devoured every book I could find, always curious and full of questions. Most importantly, I enjoyed the process of learning—it was already fun.
During fifth grade, my family moved to Connecticut and I was lucky to attend a college preparatory school from seventh grade through graduation. Teachers and peers challenged me like never before, both inside and outside of the classroom, and high school was particularly engaging as the rigor and class selection was any learner’s dream. My senior year, I even got to take a semester-long course on William Faulkner, my favorite author. Studying his work is often a privilege usually allocated to higher education, so I relished in the opportunity.
After high school, I ran back to the Deep South for college, where I took a cross-section of pre-med, art history, philosophy, and English classes, and eventually settled on an English major. I never wanted college to end! There is a certain palpable energy that exists on college campuses, one that nourishes and celebrates the ideas that knowledge is sacred and that anything is possible, and I fell in love with this energy.
Still today, I can feel this positive and vibrant excitement the very second I step foot on a campus.
During my undergraduate time, I enrolled in classes every summer because there were more classes than I could possibly take during the regular school year. Despite every effort to keep the dream alive, college did end. So I chased another dream, which was to live in one of the last wild places in the Lower 48—Montana. At first, I worked as a backcountry ranger in Glacier National Park, getting paid to hike and sleep in the presence of grizzly bears, waterfalls, wildflowers, and solitude. This was a dream job, but the joy of a being immersed in an active and vibrant learning community still pulled at me, too.
The answer was easy, and I quickly earned my Montana Secondary Teacher’s License and began teaching high school English. I was fortunate to teach in Whitefish at both the High School and the Independent High School—the district’s alternative school. After six years with the public schools, and realizing the lack of tutoring support in our valley, I opened a tutoring business and began full-time tutoring for all subjects, SAT/ACT, and college admissions. I also started a comprehensive SAT/ACT prep class at two therapeutic boarding schools.
Over the years, I have tutored most every high school subject imaginable—from AP Calculus, to American History, to Physics—and it has been the most rewarding experience to revisit all of this content. Most fun, however, was always college admission work.
In addition to being a college admissions consultant, I still teach the two SAT/ACT prep classes at the therapeutic boarding schools, and I continue to spend my time deep in the wildness of the Montana mountains. I also write fiction and nonfiction, have been published in many literary journals and magazines, and am the fiction editor for the literary journal Whitefish Review, all of which keeps my college essay-editing skills sharp and ready.