I began the first decade after Provo High School as a Banana Slug at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I intended to become a marine biologist, but I never did finish that degree because I found myself drifting toward other areas of study (or was it really that I could never understand the experiments in chemistry lab or didn’t want to tough out the laborious pre-requisites?). I eventually graduated with a degree in American Studies. Never heard of it? You are not the first. I also did a little traveling in Europe and served an LDS mission to Portugal. I married a tall, dark and handsome fellow Banana Slug, Ted Jeffries, in 1994. After graduating together from UCSC in 1995, we moved to Provo for Ted to start MBA school at BYU. I was very lucky to get a job teaching sixth grade at a private school (who knew that ambiguous interdisciplinary degree would actually come in handy!). I also completed a TESL certificate at BYU, and I have taught ESL off and on over the years.
During this last decade, I haven’t added any titles or degrees to my name, invented anything, started any companies or climbed any mountains (well actually, now that I think of it, I climbed Volcan Villarica in Chile and Mt. Taishan in China), but I have spent the entire decade in the roll of Mom with a few personal irons in the fire. I have four fabulous children -- Emma (11), Spencer (9), Kate (6) and Ellie Jane (10 months). I estimate I’ve opened and recycled at least 240 peanut butter jars, completed 5,200 loads of laundry, wiped 3,600 faces and/or noses, made 1,000 quesadillas and visited the Oregon Zoo probably 50 times. I have actually spent the entire decade living on the same street in Lake Oswego, Oregon! In the past few years, I have enjoyed a little more free time and have learned to golf. I have even dusted off my tennis racket. My life’s mantra is play before work – especially if it’s sunny! Well, here’s to hoping for another twenty years of good times and productivity for everyone – cheers!