I grew up in Niagara Falls, N.Y. in a blue-collar family. I went to SUNY at Buffalo in the early 1960's. I became involved in the antiwar, civil rights, socialist and feminist movements, but did not complete my degree. In the early 1970's I moved to Oregon, got married, had a child and then got divorced.
In 1975 I was a single mother, working as a cocktail waitress and looking for a better way to support myself and my son. I went back to school at the University of Oregon. I was a senior in math, planning to become a high school math teacher, when I went to summer school to take some general educations requirements. I took Introduction to Women's Fiction, Political Sociology, and Ethnic Folklore. These three classes introduced me to academic women's studies, race and ethnicity, and Marxism. In the fall someone, who became a dear, friend told me that if I went to graduate school in Sociology I could study what we today call Race, Class, and Gender. I changed my major within the hour and to make a long story short, here I am today.
I live in downtown Ithaca. I enjoy living in a place where I can walk, rather than drive. We have a nice little neighborhood where I can sit on my front porch in the evening and talk with neighbors. Being part of a small "community" where people do know each other and sometimes even gather or plan things together is important to me.
I spend time each summer working in my yard. Part of that is growing vegetables and preserving some for the winter. I grew up in an Italian American neighborhood, one result of that is a life time quest to make the perfect tomato sauce and growing the perfect tomato is part of that quest. I also do things like composting, buidling more raised beds, creating a small rock garden, planting a very small meadow of wild flowers, planting more spring bulbs each year, and thinking of ways to collect rain water. I would like to create a root cellar and find a way to have a pond without using chemicals or energy or plastic. In another lifetime I might have been a farmer or a landscaper.
My son lives in Spain and is married to a Spanish/Basque woman. I spend sometime each year visiting them in Madrid. Even though I usually do not like cities, I love old town Madrid and feel very much at home there. I hope to spend more time in Spain in the future. I am trying to learn to speak and understand Spanish. As the child of immigrants I am proud to speak "broken" Spanish at about an eight year old level.
CLASSES I TEACH
U.S. Working Class
Race, Class, and Gender
THINGS I LOVE
Walking and Hiking
Reading Science Fiction
Cooking and eating Italian food