1. I am 100% Dutch.
2. I was born in
3. When I was 3, my family moved to
4. When I was 7, we moved to the D.C. suburbs.
5. My Dad was in the Air Force.
6. When I was 10, we settled in
7. I attended private Christian schools for kindergarten and 2nd-5th grade.
8. I skipped first grade.
9. My fourth grade class had six kids in it.
10. Ten years later, I encountered two classmates from that tiny school at my small college in the
11. My mom home-schooled me for one year, between 5th and 6th grade.
12. I attended public schools for 6th-12th grade.
13. Even though I could have gone into 7th grade after my year of home-schooling, I decided that I wanted to be with kids my own age and to start middle school at the same time as all the new 6th graders.
14. My childhood best friend (during the DC years) was Rachel Cronkhite.
15. Her dad worked as the head chef at the Blair House.
16. As Rachel and I were true children of the 1980s political subculture, our greatest pledge of friendship was that we would attend each other’s weddings even it one of us married Gorbachev.
17. We did, in fact, attend each other’s weddings (neither of us married Russians).
18. I sucked my thumb until 4th grade.
19. At age 7, I began wearing braces to correct an overbite. The braces came off when I was 14.
20. To stop me from sucking my thumb, I had my mouth wired shut for a summer.
21. I saw Les Miserables for the first time when I was nine.
22. “Lovely Ladies” was my favorite song from the musical; I didn’t understand what it was about, but I liked the lively melody.
23. I took ice skating lessons for a couple years; my highest achievement was a one-foot spin.
24. I stopped taking lessons when we moved to
25. I took piano lessons for nine years.
26. In college, I was too intimidated by the Wheaton Conservatory students to keep up with piano practice.
27. I wish I hadn’t let fear of other people get in the way of pursuing hobbies I enjoyed.
28. I was a cheerleader in 8th grade.
29. My first car bore the nickname “The Target,” because it had notable dents from the number of times it had been hit by other cars before coming into my possession.
30. The Target had no air-conditioning; talk about delightful in
31. The Target also had a leak that prevented it from retaining any power-steering fluid; I developed strong arms fast.
32. I wrote a lot of mediocre poetry as a teen.
33. Some of it was deemed publishable in “Frontage Roads,” my high school’s literary journal.
34. I used to fall asleep every night to the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s (my TV had an off-timer).
35. I dislike math, though I have a reasonable aptitude for it.
36. My senior year of high school, I took AP Calculus in order to avoid math in college.
37. Right before the AP exam, I found out that the college I would attend offered a simple math competency exam to test out of required math coursework. I doodled on my AP Calc exam and still passed.
38. In high school, most of my good friends were guys.
39. Now, for the most part, I am better friends with their wives.
40. I was president of the drama club at my high school.
41. I had roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Inherit the Wind, Our Country’s Good, and The Sound of Music – respectively:
43. A townswoman/Rachel Brown.
44. Mary Brenham.
45. Elsa Scraeder.
46. At birth, I had red hair.
47. From toddler-hood to late elementary school, I had scraggly towhead blond hair.
48. In 5th grade, my hair turned light brownish-reddish and thickened up considerably.
49. In my mid-twenties, my mildly wavy hair developed into soft curls.
50. My favorite colors are brown, green, and blue.