I left AUP in December of 1999. I was able to finish a few general education courses in California and return to Paris in May of 2000 to graduate with a BA in comparative literature. At that point I had no intention of returning to any sort of studies, despite the efforts of my professors to convince me that having a career as a professor would also give me the time to do what I had always wanted: write fiction. After less than a year as a secretary in a sales office, I decided to go back to school to at least avoid for a time the working world.
I ended up in the Department of Romance Languages and Literature at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. I enjoyed a more in-depth study of French literature and am particularly grateful for the opportunity I had to teach French while at Hopkins. I spent my second year of study in Geneva, Switzerland, attending classes at the University of Geneva and also researching film adaptations of theater in preparation for my dissertation (which I never actually wrote). After my third year at Hopkins (2004), I returned to my home in California on a medical leave of absence and eventually made the difficult decision not to return to complete the PhD program. Since then I have been employed at various long-term “temporary” jobs, including substitute teaching for various language classes at the high school level and customer service for an electronic parts distributor (where my analytical and writing skills were in fact quite useful). In 2007, I spent six months editing and preparing for publication a family history book compiled by my grandmother. Currently I work as a caregiver for an 89 year-old woman (a friend convinced me that hanging out with his grandmother all day would give me the time I wanted for other projects, including writing). I spend a lot of time with my family and serving in my church. I read in spurts (when I get so hungry for fiction that I simply must drop everything else). I write creatively on occasion. I’m working on making more time for those activities because they do stimulate and nourish me. I have over the years also made time for travel, returning several times to Paris and other areas of Europe, visiting Quebec, and many different parts of the United States. Although I never imagined I would find myself where I am today, I can say I have a good life and that I have been blessed beyond what I ever could have imagined for myself.