Women’s Month Interviews: Carolyn Coulson-Grigsby

How do we know each other?
We met in graduate school at the University of Connecticut Medieval Studies program.

How would you describe yourself?
Strong, determined, funny (I hope), creative educator.

In what part of the world are you located?

Northern Virginia – recently moved and very happy to be here.

Where can we find you on the web?

Facebook

What don’t people know about you that they ought to know?

My first self-identity was as a dancer, and I still take dance classes (ballet, tap). I’m both a creative artist and an academic.

What’s the most common mistake people make about you?

People think i’m organized and have it ‘all together’

What are you most proud of having accomplished so far?
Hmm, most proud of… I’m proud of having finished my PhD, having three kids and a job I love, and I’m particularly proud of two shows I’ve directed – Pippin and Midsummer Night’s Dream.

What ambitions do you have ahead of you?
Small ones – mounting a play for the Chester Cycle at University of Toronto 2010; actually putting up pictures in our house!

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

Students telling me that I’m a role model for them, as both a teacher and a mother

If something great happens to you, how do you celebrate?

Have a nice meal with people I love

What’s your best method for coping with stress?
Teaching and/or playing with Pippa

What makes you laugh?
Pippa! hence the stress coping thing.

What makes you cry?

Seeing students or children excel at something for the first time (it’s a good cry!)

What do you love?
Directing Shakespeare.

What do you loathe?

Miserable people.

What’s sexy?
Talent, brains and confidence.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

Be a rainbow in somebody’s clouds. (Maya Angelou – I’m misquoting, but it’s along those lines)

How should people be spending their money?
Support the arts! support education!!

Which woman/women have inspired you?

Virginia Woolf, Jane Goodall, Maya Angelou (saw her speak in the fall – wow – see ‘best advice’ question)

If I gave you a million dollars, what would you do?
I’d still work at my same job, but I’d pay off lots of debt (two mortgages!), put it away for my kids college education, and pay off some family members’ mortgages.

Thank you so much for being part of this celebration: you are an amazing woman!