I’ve been rewriting this about page for decades, always feeling the need to emphasize one area of expertise or another.
But here’s the truth: I’m what’s called a multipotentialite. I’m skilled in many areas (I really am!), and I have many, many interests. If I were a man, you’d probably call me renaissance. But I’m a woman, so the term for me is flighty, no?
I assure you, I am not flighty—what I am is a person who wants to learn all the things. My breadth of experience across a wide variety of interests has given me an extraordinary storehouse of knowledge to draw upon. Throughout my life, the thing I’ve said (and still say) most is: I’ll figure it out! And I always have, whether it’s finding out a solution for non-tech people to be able to update their websites during a pandemic, figuring out how to make a life for myself in a foreign country with five hundred dollars to my name (which I did, for three years), fixing broken things on sites I didn’t build, being hired to write a tech manual for software I don’t have access to, home renovation projects with limited resources, learning a new language, or teaching software that I have a week to learn, I have always gotten it done and done well. I love to learn, I love a challenge, I am interested in everything, and I never say no… because I will figure it out.
I’m able to do this “figure it out” thing because I learn quickly. But more importantly, I know what I don’t know. I know when to look for resources, ask for help, collaborate, and delegate. I know a learning opportunity when I see one.
I fell into technology after being offered a permanent job while I was temping. Actually, no, I didn’t fall into it—I was working on the administration side of a longterm health insurance company, but I knew I wanted to work with computers. So one day, I marched over to the IT department, introduced myself, and told the Big Boss that I was really good with computers. True story. I stayed there doing IT/help desk, database administration, and web support for a couple years, which led to my “career” as a trainer and developer for nearly twenty years. I lived in Prague for three years, where I continued to dabble with tech but primarily taught English as a Second/Foreign language, edited for nonnative English speakers, and did some voiceover work for English language-learning CDs. I also taught yoga and meditation for a spell.
In the past couple years, I’ve been slowly pivoting to writing (my one, true and everlasting love throughout all of time) and editing.
Clearly, I have the most experience with technology and language: web development (old school style and WordPress), eLearning development, technical training, web content management, English language instruction (TEFL/TESOL), proofreading and editing, translation and ESL editing (I speak several languages), technical writing, and SEO. I have also worked in IT and database administration.
I am passionate about and have a significantly greater than average knowledge of: world languages, nontraditional education, homeschooling, mental health issues, learning disorders and disabilities (particularly ADHD), neurobiology and psychology, art and literature, art history, urban space and development, cooking and baking (including with international conversions and ingredients), public transportation, home renovation, graphic design, formatting books for print and e-readers, the automotive repair industry, voiceovers, international travel (particularly Western, Eastern, and Central Europe), all things tech-related, pop culture, linguistics, social media, the great outdoors, equestrian topics… I either do something with each of these topics now or have either studied at length, been part of, worked on, or been obsessed with each of these things at some point. My interests are never “passing.” I dive deep or not at all.
Thanks to my Dad, I know about fishing, firefighting, and emergency services, and I have a weird, encyclopedic knowledge of Hazmat, chemistry, and biologial weapons. (I know, right?) He’s the reason I’ll just go wander into the woods or any new city, without a plan or a fear of getting lost. He’s also the reason I’ll gleefully demolish things in the house when I feel like some renovation is due. And thanks to my husband, I know a lot about audio design, AR/VR audio, UX/UI audio, and game development. And ping pong.
Whew. That’s a lot of words. If you want more detail on my bread and butter, as it were, go here for editing or here for technical documentation, development, and content management.
Oh, Did You Want More?
Well, then! I dropped out of high school (I was bored), and tried to go to college several times. Once again, the problem was that I wanted to do all the things. A few years ago, I finally went back for real and graduated Magna cum Laude with a B.A. in the Comparative History of Ideas at the University of Washington. My studies centered around Spanish, French, and theoretical immigration issues. (I also took a year of Arabic, and I’m kicking myself for not sticking with it.)
I take a lot of pictures, especially of urban scenery and architecture during my travels abroad. I always thought I would get a degree in photography, but for now I do it for fun. I’ve begun dabbling in urban sketching and am a self-professed flâneuse and “psychogeographer.” I’m also a great fan of “dérive-ing.” I read novels in French and Spanish while working towards being able to read them in German and Russian, too. My favorite music is Japanese Trip Hop, Spanish rap, and French Electronica. I try to spend as much time outdoors as possible with my husband, son, and dog. We travel frequently and are particularly fond of the Basque Region, both in France (Le Pays Basque) and Spain (El País Vasco). ( <— You can tell this was written pre-coronavirus, yeah?)
I also love The Situationists (see: flâneuse, psychogeographer, dérive-ing), Tilda Swinton, Seattle weather, and bagging my own groceries. I bleed espresso and have the world’s biggest collection of orange lipstick.