Editor’s note: The Decorah Stories Questionnaire is inspired by the “Proust Questionnaire,” a set of confessional questions popularized in the Victorian era as a parlor game. The “Decorah Stories Questionnaire” contains 24 questions and respondents were asked to answer 4-6 questions. A full list of questions can be found here.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A day with yoga, good coffee, my sons visiting, and an hour or two of cross country skiing, biking, or sailing (depending on the season) with a group of friends.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Traveling to far away places and biking for a week at a time. I have biked in RAGBRAI three times with my son and Team Bricky. I am lucky to have hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Pichu with friends. And this August I will travel to Scotland, England, and Nederlands with my sons.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“I can do that.” I am most likely to volunteer to do more than I should.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
To have a healthy, long life. I was an art/technology teacher at North Winneshiek for 31 years. That means that I have been a part of the lives of many kids and families in a very good place for kids and adults. And now I have achieved retirement, which I often say is the best job I’ll ever have. I am able to volunteer for the Oneota Film Festival and other organizations and be outdoors often to hike or bike or cross-country ski.
Who are your heroes in real life?
The women who helped me grow from a child to a woman: my Mom, two Grandmas, three aunts, cousins. They had expectations that helped me to get an education beyond their own experience. They encouraged me to be an artist, a teacher, a mom, a wife, and an organized adult with a variety of interests. I gained from them a sense of purpose and a belief that I could do hard things.