Professionally, I am the director of education at a medical specialty society. I recently earned a masters in public health, and loved being back in the classroom, working on projects in NYC, writing papers, and co-teaching a class in public health on an Indian reservation in North Dakota. Now, post-MPH, I am still taking classes—in salsa, that is. I may not be making a career out of dance (!) but it’s stimulating to keep on learning new things.
Before my current career, I was in the glamorous field of trade publishing, and in the pre-Internet days, even worked for a year at Rolling Stone. That small fact makes my kids’ friends think I am uber-cool. It was great fun to read manuscripts and find the needle in the haystack that actually ended up between hard (or paperback) covers. But the world changed, the industry shrank, and I responded by reinventing myself.
My work life defines part of me, and gives you an idea of my work ethic. But it's not all work and no play for me. My family and friends are central to my life and I’d know no happiness without them. My kids are in their twenties, finding their paths in life. I have good relationships with them, and I’m thrilled they get along with each other. They seem to have escaped the sibling rivalry that can sometimes give too much edge to family life!
I have friends from just about every segment of my life from high school on. I connect the old with the new, and as I weave new people into my life, I enjoy introducing my friends to one another. There’s no better place to do that than at my table, and I will cook up a soup-to-nuts meal where I can bring us all together. I celebrate Shabbat and have tremendous
satisfaction from sitting at my great big table, by the glow of candles, with friends and family drinking wine and having a sumptuous feast while discussing topics ranging from the days of the patriarchs to current headlines. Talk. Eat. Sing. For me, there is nothing better for a Friday night.
A signature fact of my life is that I grew up on a farm. I loved the outdoors, playing with the animals, and running a "chicken hospital" with my sister. But maybe it was listening to Broadway show tunes on the radio. Or maybe it was watching Judy Garland in a sequined gown on the Ed Sullivan Show. Maybe it was looking at the spreads in Life magazine and realizing there was a great big world out there. Whatever it was, by age 9 I knew I was destined for the bright lights of the big city. As a result, I can’t seem to have too much entertainment. Movies, shows, dramas, museums, lectures, music in any venue—bring it on!
As much as I soak up socializing and entertainment, I confess to a lifelong love of reading. The last few books I’ve read include The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (David Mitchell), Wild (Strayed), In the Shadow of the Banyan (Veddey), Unorthodox (Feldman), and Beautiful Ruins (Walter). I read mostly fiction, and seek out contemporary works that have generated positive reviews along with the occasional classic piece.
So much for the Self Summary. I’ll save other details for a real life give-and-take conversation.
Movies: Children of Paradise (Les Enfants du Paradis), Frozen River, Lord of the Rings, Gosford Park , East West, Pan's Labyrinth, Children of A Lesser G-d, Throw Momma from the Train, The G-ds Must Be Crazy, When Harry Met Sally, Dead Again, The Wizard of Oz.
Shows: Music Man, Anything Goes, Matilda. Theater: Our Town, The Seagull.
Music: Alternative rock, singer-songwriter, bluegrass, Motown, blues, klezmer, jazz. The WFUV playlist.
Food: I have vegetarian tendencies, and I'm not a big fan of Indian or Mexican cuisine. But I love everything about food, from figuring out which friends will interact well at the table, to serving foods that work well together. What it's really all about is creating the setting for good memories.