Day One: The story of your life in 250 words or less
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs in a house with a white picket fence and was a nerdy, quiet bookworm. Mathletes was the best part of high school because it was okay to be smart, and I was darn good at math. Then I started college and found out, oh, this is what college math is. Wow, do I suck at it. I turned to geography, which I kind of already knew existed because my dad and grandpa taught it in middle school, but it just made sense to me. Places and landscapes and spatial relationships and maps and…yeah.
I went to grad school right after college; what else was I going to do? That was at the University of Minnesota, and I fell in love with the Twin Cities. But upon finishing my Master's, I didn't know if I wanted to commit to the Ph.D., so I moved to Boston with my college boyfriend and worked as a transportation engineer. After a year and a half, I knew I was destined to be a nerd for life, so I went back to Minnesota for my Ph.D., leaving my fiance behind.
Then my husband and I moved to California, where there was a series of adjunct positions and jobs I left after a year or two, and then this university in the Midwest offered both me and Mr. Z jobs six years ago, and here we are. Sorry if this read more like an extended resume than a life story…but my life pretty much is my job, so there you go!