A little about me…



I’ve found myself in an odd place, needing to introduce myself to my students without my usual in-person opportunities…  I suspect that my sense of humor, and perhaps my sense of compassion, are lost online.  Sadly, you’ll have to figure that sort of stuff out by reading the blog… 

So — I’ll start with some of the basics so you can get a sense of who your instructor is — at least at this moment :):

  • I’m divorced (married 20ish years).  The ex was in the military when I married him, now he’s a lawyer with most of a Ph.D in political science.  
  • My new partner is a person I’ve known since 5th grade… his dad was our high school vice-principal.. but, I was a good girl in high school, so having him as my  in-law is a good thing.
  • I live with my partner, who is a photography student at Century — because I persuaded him to come to Century.  If you need to see me in person the photo lab on the east campus is often a good place to find me :).  He’s working on an AFA with photography as his medium — and he’s done the VCT photography track, so I can tell you a bit about that department.
  • On my walls, right now, are photos I took.  I also developed the film and made the prints in the darkroom.  We recently decided that we’d been looking at his photos for long enough, so I put up some of mine.
  • We love to travel and when we do, we focus on landscape photography — SO, I may have some nice images to share on occasion.  This summer we’re taking a long road-trip south with his (our, in a way) 11-year old son.  We’ll be caring for my 96 year-old grandma while her regular caregivers (my mom and aunt) go to Alaska.  I’ll be teaching online all summer, so they’ll go do Disney etc — and I’ll hang with Grandma.  That’s ok with me — I’m not so big on the land of the Mouse :).
  • We have two cats who let us live with them.  Scarlet Begonia (after the Grateful Dead song..) is small and mostly a brown tabby.  Tera is large and mostly a calico.  Both have an attitude and LOVE their catnip… 
  • I have a Ph.D. in Philosophy (technically a doctorate of philosophy in philosophy).  My area of specialty is the ethics of warfare.  You can read my dissertation — assuming it’s not assigned to you, then you HAVE to read it :).  
  • I decided on the ethics of warfare just after 9-11 when I couldn’t find good articles to deal with what seemed to be our inevitable ‘war on terror’.  All the articles I saw were from the mid-70s and concerned the Vietnam war.  This didn’t seem like a good situation, thus a dissertation was born.
  • FYI — June 10th is “Dr. Patty” day, every year — because that’s the anniversary of my dissertation defense.
  • In 2008 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I had a mastectomy and did chemo — now I’m “normal” — i.e. there is no reason to treat me for cancer.  The photo above is of me during Of Scars last year.  
  • It was quite an experience to have my photo taken without my shirt, then to see it large — on the wall– at a public event.  It was well worth it.
  • As I write this, I’m listening to NPR, there is a cool breeze in my apartment, I was just visited by the smaller cat (Scarlet Begonia), and my partner is cooking — yes, he cooks.
  • I’m useless without coffee — I’ve tried it — it’s just not pretty.  I CAN make it to the first opportunity to buy coffe, without coffee — but not much further.

 Professional stuff… hmmm… what to say.. I love to teach philosophy because my students have a chance to explore ideas, challenge me, and generally learn more about the way the world works.  I usually teach about Ethics and Logic, but I can teach all the philosophy courses.    

This year was my 10th year at Century.  I’m full-time, unlimited — which more or less means that I’ll be here for a long time.  I love teaching at Century because my students are usually motivated, smart, and humble enough not to realize how smart they are.  The best part of my job is helping my students figure out they’re a lot smarter than they think they are.  Sometimes it’s more of a challenge than others — but when it happens, it’s the golden teaching moment that makes all the work worthwhile.

Personally, I’m more or less a clean hippie chick.  I’m likely to wear jeans and birkenstocks to class.  I have longish curly hair that may or may not be grey by the time school starts in the fall. I’m a liberal and a feminist — BUT — I also think that my job isn’t to tell my students WHAT to think, rather my goal is to help them figure out how to reach their own conclusions, so don’t write papers that spout the liberal/feminist position unless you think it’s correct.. 

In my “spare” time, recently at least — I’ve been re-reading some of the basic feminist books.  I’m not sure I agree with them, but it’s good to read them and see how things have changed.  I also love to read fiction and really relax with music from the 70s and 80s, or so… 

Feel free to poke around my other blog.  It’s kind of out of date, but it might be entertaining.

Just FYI — I try more or less to keep my facebook profile personal.  If you find me there, don’t bother to send a friend request until you’re done with class.  If you still want to be my “friend” once you’ve had a grade, then we’re good.  I have lots of former students, debaters, and other folks as my “friends” — the only thing they have in common is that they’re unlikely to get a grade from me in the future.  I do that so that I can have some semblance of a “personal” online persona, and so that my mother won’t be commenting on stuff my students post to my wall — I just don’t need my online life to be that integrated.. :).

So — there may be more later, or there may not — if you have questions, feel free to post them in comments… 



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