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My educational journey has been a roller coaster ride that continues to surprise me to this day. Having started community college right after high school, I found myself going to college because that's what you are supposed to do. However, after a few semesters I found I had no focus and no real motivation. I decided to take some time off and go back when I knew what I wanted out of my education. In the meantime I worked in a bank, then as a secretary, followed by telemarketing, and finally work as a carnie. The latter took me on a completely new adventure that was fun, scary, exciting, and oddly empowering as I traveled from town to town in my little Dodge Colt, camping out many nights and sharing hotel rooms when the county fair season was in full swing. When I began to think about returning to school, I reflected on the people who had most influenced me and thought about teachers from grade school through high school. I went back to community college after my son's birth with the goal of becoming a high school teacher, which eventually turned into the goal of becoming a university professor and researcher. Each academic year has brought me new challenges and new opportunities, including time in France on a regular basis. I love my work in the classroom and the archives. It is always a roller coaster ride with the highs and lows, especially the writing process. But I love the feeling when a project is done and all the hard work comes together! View all posts by ltalamante