Born 913 years - to the day - after the Battle of Hastings, I was clearly fated to be a medievalist. Indeed, despite early forays into biology and psychology, all paths led back to old literary stuff. So, since one canít fight fate, I am here in Cambridge, England pursuing the MPhil in Medieval Literature. My dissertation, which unites my interests in medieval Britain and classical antiquity, is titled ďPermutacioun of Thynges: Altered Ethnicity and Fabricated or Omitted Genealogy in Troilus and Criseyde

Although I am a medievalist and classicist by training (BA in English with a Concentration in Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Classical Studies, Penn, 2001), I have such other nerdy-yet-insufficiently-developed interests as organic chemistry, the Japanese language, C programming and Romantic poetry (especially Keats, Shelley, and Coleridge). I am supposedly proficient in Spanish, and have studied several ancient and modern languages (while remaining fluent only in modern English Ė alas). I have played drums and trumpet in various symphonic, marching and pep bands along the eastern seaboard, and am not ashamed to admit that I was once a member of a troupe of dancing tambourinists (oh, the randomness of 4th grade), or on the varsity chess team in high school (the lone female member!).

Oh, to heck with conventional bios; letís try this:

Silver or gold: usually silver; my class ring is an exception

Paper or plastic: plastic Ė easier to carry!

Window or aisle: always window

Rhythm or coordination: rhythm

Window open or air conditioning: well, since Iíve never had a car with functioning AC, itís gotta be the former

White or red wine: in general white, but Iíve had some nice reds

Dogs or cats: I canít believe this question is even on here. Oh wait, that was my doing. . . The answer, of course, is dogs!

City or country: You can take the girl out of the ghetto, but you canít take the ghetto out of the girl.

I canít: snap my fingers

I have a tendency to: get only halfway through fat books (Anna Karenina, Great Expectations, Don Quixote)

When Iím tired I: fall when walking up stairs. Yes, never down stairs, always up

In the 3rd grade they told me: I was too dumb for the gifted and talented program. I sure showed them!

When no oneís within earshot I: belt out Broadway show tunes and other songs

I keep meaning to: pose with the sign across the street from me that says ďdangerous intersectionĒ

I was the kind of kid who: qualified for citywide spelling bees and regional science fairs but never won Ďem

If I sit in the September sun in New Hampshire for 2 hours I: get a second degree sunburn (Dartmouth football game, 1998)

Therefore I am: pastier than your average Norwegian!

You can find me jamminí on: drums, trumpet, and guitar (learning)

Craziest hair debacle: getting it caught in a flytrap in Vermont (circa 1992)

You might be surprised to find out: I scored the same on the math and verbal portions of the SAT

First major public speaking appearance: at a Gulf War assembly in 1991 when I read my essay ďWhy Iím Proud to Be an AmericanĒ to a bunch of dignitaries

My best quality: tremendous emotional strength

I have been mistaken for: an Italian and a German (on two separate occasions)

Dream job: best-selling author

Dream house: on coastal New England

Dream car: small and sporty with a killer sound system (and possibly AC? But I guess if itís a convertible I wonít need that. . .)

Places I still need to visit: Athens & Greek Islands, Norway (fjords!), Prague and Budapest (medieval madness)