When I started at Indiana University, I had a double major in French and Chemistry. I intended to be a forensic chemist. Although I enjoyed chemistry a lot, I tried several other subjects my sophomore year and decided on German as a second major. I served both of these by spending my junior year in Strasbourg, France through the IU/Purdue Overseas Study Program there.

I stayed on in Bloomington for graduate school, where I completed a Masters in French Linguistics. I finished all the coursework for the PhD (also in French Linguistics). I worked all four years as an Associate Instructor in French, which really meant that for about 400 students, I was their French Teacher! I really enjoyed teaching, far better than grooming myself for a life of linguistics research.

My last year as a student, I was really a teacher. Actually an assistante de langue anglaise (English language assistant) at a lycée in Villefranche-sur-Saône, the capital of Beaujolais wine country. It was an interesting year: I took folk dance lessons, had my own radio program at Radio Calade, chaperoned a class trip to London, and got to see the Berlin wall as it was coming down. I spend that summer in Brest, an underrated port city in Brittany.

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