About the Author

Hi! I’m Tanya and I  am on twitter as Nerdette which causes confusion.  Evidently there’s some German pop star by the same moniker.  Every once in a while I get tweets in German.  My professional background is here.

I had 5 pairs of cowboy boots before I moved to Texas. I said “y’all” non-ironically before living here.  I love wide open spaces and the ability to be left the heck alone.  One spring of Texan wildflowers was enough for me to know that I had finally found a place to set down roots.

And in case you’re curious, here are 10 random things about me, in no particular order:

1. I live to work.  I support the efforts of public education and I love my work and what I do, even if sometimes I swear a lot. Yes, Texas is that great and I now refer to myself as a “first generation Texan.”

2. Growing up I had really disfiguring eczema. Once I got it around my eyes. In a weird way I liked looking like quasimodo. You can imagine what it was like, growing up a gawky nerd with a skin affliction worse than just acne. But I wouldn’t change that experience for a second. Nerds rule. Weird looking nerds rule harder.

3. I pulled my sister out of a pond when we were kids. I guess I saved her life – at the time and the only memory I have of it is laughing at her, because when I pulled her out she was crying and I thought it was funny she was all wet. I vaguely remember a very upset adult rushing over. I can’t tell you how glad I am I dragged her out.

4. I wasn’t allowed to watch much teevee growing up, so I ended up spending most of my time in the creek, making friends with frogs, earthworms and bugs. I spent a lot of time in trees. I loved every moment of it.

5. I had a guinea pig named Cindy Lou and a dwarf Siberian hamster as pets, growing up. Cindy Lou lived for about 6 years – the hamster (named Spunky) met an untimely death, choking on a corn chip. It was tragic.  Happily, I have turned out to be an decent dog-mom.

6. I didn’t like pro-sports until I tried measuring the effect of long-term budget implications of spending on educational attainment, for 2 years in grad school. After writing a long paper on No Child Left Behind, I realized what a relief it is to have a CLEAR OUTCOME. Hence, my love of the NFL and the Steelers was born.  Since my boyfriend is a die-hard Cowboys fan, football season is both awesome and slightly tense in our household.  My one hold out in my Texasification is that I will not root for the Cowboys (unless they’re playing the New England Patriots.)

7. I was an avid reader at an early age. I was raised on a steady diet of Asimov, Bradbury, Gibson, and a lot of pulp murder mysteries and who-dun-its.  This might explain my love of the TV show Bones.

8. I was a Girl Scout for 12 years. I love camping. I can start a fire anywhere, made out of pretty much anything. Girl Scouts rock.

9. I used to work with Military families. I learned a lot about volunteer recruitment from helping build strong military family support groups. It helped me as a field organizer, and taught me how to build teams. I also happen to have relatives that served in every branch except the Air Force, and it was fulfilling work to do.

10. Once, when I was in Louisville, KY – a woman told me she didn’t like Asians – to my face. I told her she should try Korean BBQ because it would change her life. I truly believe food is the great equalizer. I don’t know if she could tell I was half Asian (I’m half Brasilian.  I like to call myself a “person of Other” because I usually check “Other” on forms.)  I hope that woman tried Kalbi some day because kalbi is delicious.

All opinions are my own and do not reflect anything or one or organization except me.  Which is likely a good thing.

8 Responses to About the Author

  1. Jan Gunter says:

    Wow, this is amazing, and yes, I read them all! I, too, believe everyone should practice Yoga – at least for a while. I also grew up in a Christian home and myself was one of those Republicans for a long while until Protestant churches started co-opting God and claiming that all the righteous ways to vote were Republican. I began quoting Jesus to them in relation to Democratic-leaning votes. LOL

    I’m a third generation (or more) Texan but lived away from here long enough to get the Texas myopia out of me, and I quit saying “Ya’ll for a very long time.” I’m starting to say it again. Love, love, love the wildflowers.

    I love your writing style! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Christina Almond says:

    1. I came upon your Twitter page and linked to this at complete randomness!

    2. I did read the whole thing–LOL! I love your sense of humor–so cute and honest!

    3. I think we share a lot of similar thoughts and values…just based upon this 25 point list! Lol!

  3. Evan says:

    What a wonderfully honest and pure (and funny) post. I agree with the other blogger, you have a terrific and witty writing style. I also am a complete bibliophile and have a photographic memory as well. It definitely comes in handy lol. So glad I follow you on Twitter. Yes Nerds totally rule and cool nerdy cuties like you are why I will never stop believing that. Thank You and believe me I read the whole thing!

    Evan 8)

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