I’ve decided to use this month — Women’s History Month, of course — to do a simple yet wonderful thing: celebrate the fabulous women I know. I hope this makes us all aware of the web of amazing women we have around us. Women don’t tend to be good about tooting their own horns, but one thing I’ve learned from history is that small efforts by individuals can change the course of the world even when they don’t intend to do so.
First up, the fabulous Wendy Goldberg, the nearest I come to having a sister of my own!
How do we know each other?
Bonding over grad school and medieval literature.
How would you describe yourself?
I would like people to see me as a confident, dedicated teacher as well as a human being striving to make the world a better place.
In what part of the world are you located?
New England. I’m ready for a change.
Where can we find you on the web?
Facebook and blogspot
What don’t people know about you that they ought to know?
For those who think I’m tough, I’m very much soft-hearted. And for those who think I’m optimistic, I am pessimistic (and vice versa).
What’s the most common mistake people make about you?
Thinking that I’m not passionate about politics and world events. Also, that I’m not ambitious.
What are you most proud of having accomplished so far?
yet to come…
What ambitions do you have ahead of you?
I have many ambitions ahead of me. This is an uncertain time but I want to find a place where I am appreciated and where I can share my talents with others. I want to make a difference, although I don’t really care if I get that recognition.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
That my students are lucky to have me.
If something great happens to you, how do you celebrate?
With friends and a drink or two.
What’s your best method for coping with stress?
Getting a massage, going to religious services, and generally thinking about people who have it much worse than I do.
What makes you laugh?
Movies, books, and people who show the absurdity and the tragedy in life (like Douglas Adams and my many acerbic friends);
What makes you cry?
At both extremes, one sad and one sublime: Sacrifice done in the name of nothing and sacrifice given in the name of everything.
What do you love?
Many things. My family, my friends, and my cats. I love movies and books that pull me into a different world. I love having written something that I’m proud of. The song of the Mockingbird on a full-moon night. Wallace Stevens. Chocolate Mousse. That dinner I had in Paris many years ago. Walking through large spaces, empty of people. Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve. The way the cat purrs at me when I’m sleeping. The sound of my mother’s, my sister’s, and my niece’s laughter.
What do you loathe?
Unkindness in all its forms — especially toward those who are less powerful.
Confidence without arrogance.
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
No one ever complains about a speech or a talk going too short.
How should people be spending their money?
At their local soup kitchen or any charity in one’s community.
Which woman/women have inspired you?
My mother, for never compromising her morals and beliefs and for always believing in me. All of my female friends — to whom I do not say this enough — for their power and their passion.
If I gave you a million dollars, what would you do?
Make sure my family was secure and then spend a year sailing around the world.
Thank you so much for being part of this celebration and for going first: you are fabulous!
You are welcome!