When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother “What will I be? Will I be pretty, will I be rich?” Here’s what she said to me… “Do your homework.”
My mom was and remains one of the biggest influences in my life. As an English teacher, she was forever telling me to look things up so that I would learn for myself. “Mom, how do you spell Antarctica?” “Look it up.” Of course I was thinking, “How can I look it up if I don’t know how to spell it?” It was only many years later that I learned that my mom told me to look things up because she didn’t know how to spell them herself. However, because I looked all those things up, I became a dynamite speller. My mom is also my singing buddy and encouraged me to pursue my passion for song.
My aunt was also a major influence in my life for two main reasons: Firstly, she introduced me to reading for pleasure. Secondly, she introduced me to travel and world cultures. As many of you know, I’m an avid, nay, a voracious reader. Books are how I feed my mind. When I was about 7 or 8, my aunt came over with a box of Hardy Boys books for my older brother. Since there was nothing for me, I was rather disappointed. When she came back the next time with a box of Nancy Drews, Cherry Ames, and Vicki Bliss books all for me, I was in heaven. I read every single one of those books and haven’t stopped since. My aunt also became my travel companion, infecting me with the travel bug, which ended up being a long-term benefit.
Those books, as well as travel with my family, enkindled in me a love for two things: Disney and castles- you can see how Disney would’ve helped grow that love of castles. Many a time I felt I was born in the wrong time period and should’ve been a medieval princess. That feeling was so strong that I decided to major in medieval studies in college. Realizing that I’d never get a job in the field of medieval princessery, especially since there aren’t any eligible princes available, I decided to focus on my other love: sharing stories. So I became an English teacher. Yes, having a mom who was an English teacher, a dad who was a math teacher, and an aunt who was a history teacher influenced my decision.
After a while, I decided that I wanted to grow as an educator and move into educating adults. I was fortunate enough to join this team, which was a bonus because of the Swan and Dolphin. I keep coming back to Disney because it is a place where I’m able to connect with my family on a yearly basis. I’m also able to see castles more frequently than travel to Europe allows.
So, while my mother never promised me that I would be pretty, or rich, she and my aunt did instill in me a love of learning, a love for reading, and a love for travel, three passions which continue to influence me on a daily basis. And maybe, someday, in the midst of my travels, I’ll find my prince.