I was born in Mud Fork, West Virginia in 1948 (sounds like the beginning of a bad novel). My family were coal miners and we prided ourselves in our ability to be self-reliant and self- taught in many respects. Given this history, it’s interesting that I have spent a great deal of my working life in the arena of education.
During high-school I had two particularly wonderful teachers who took me under their wings. This inspired me to become a classroom teacher. I went to Penn State, studied and partied, and did my student teaching at an elementary school in North Philadelphia while going to Temple to get a master’s degree in elementary education. I had 42 fifth graders, and one was 16 years old! What a challenging adventure. This work led to an appointment to help develop and implement a Philadelphia School District program for mentally gifted children. From this experience, I developed a deep interest in group process. So I enrolled in a Master’s Program in group process and group psychotherapy at Hahnemann University. Upon graduation, I taught a few courses to the undergrates. During my career in the mental health field, I worked with community mental health centers, group homes and finally with families and special needs children. I was a mobile therapist, behavior specialist and found myself running wrap-around service programs in five counties. I have a special passion and rich experience in working with gifted children and special needs gifted children. A strong desire is to brain-storm with other educators to develop programming for the problems of bullying, using the skills and talents of gifted children.
Along the way, I have pursued many hobbies. I immersed myself in all kinds of science fiction and was enthralled with the books of Robert Heinlein. I started to love being outdoors and gardening. I think I would give up a wonderful meal to shake my booty on the dance floor, inspired by the soul-tapping sounds of disco and Motown. Knitting, sewing, making “rustic” Christmas ornaments, and gift wrapping have filled me with joy. In the past two years I have dabbled, unexpectedly, with cooking. I do like quick eye-hand coordination computer games like Bejeweled. Being at the beach is like sanctuary for me. In my 30s I participated in the flea market subculture and watch Antiques Roadshow whenever I can. I also worked at Gracie’s restaurant, where I so enjoyed multitasking, and miss waitressing to this day. Did I mention my now almost obsession with gardening? When I am in the garden nothing outside of that moment exists; while I try to make something beautiful.
And all during my work life, I have been drawn to meditation, yoga, and massage. I took seminars, attended classes, and did cycles of regular practice of the interest of the moment. During the 90s I became intrigued with the Trager Approach and took the entire basic training and deepened my interest in movement as medicine. Almost simultaneously I became aware of the pilates reformer. I could not find local studios or classes or training. I went to a studio on the Main Line and took some classes, bought myself a reformer and all the video tapes I could find; then took classes and became a certified pilates reformer instructor. For one year I taught reformer classes at a local studio and then decided, with my husband Ken, to open REALITY PILATES REFORMER. This is a chapter in my life that allows me to take joy in taking care of myself… and this is a four year journey that seems to get better every day.