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Who Am I?
Ms. Simmons's Home Page
A Brief Biography

"Who am I?" is a difficult question to answer. There are many facets of my life that somehow have combined to make me the person I am today.
 
I was born on Bastille Day, July 14 in 1970 in Biloxi, Mississippi at Keesler AFB where my father was stationed while in the Air Force. I have no memories of living there because my parents returned to their native Pennsylvania before I was a year old.
 
From that time until I left for college, I lived in Somerset, Pennsylvania, which is a small town about 70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Since September 11, 2001, my hometown has become well-known due to the horrific crash of Flight 93.  If you would like to read my thoughts on that event, follow this link.
 
I began my long and winding college career at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania as a music major. It didn't take me long to realize that I was not in the right field. I began to study English and have never looked back.
 
In 1991, college took a backseat to love. I married my high school sweetheart, Ryan, during a lovely outdoor wedding and reception at Green Gables, in Jennerstown. Our first son, Caleb Thomas, was born in 1992. Aaron Matthew followed his brother in 1994.
 
Due to a job transfer, we headed South and ended up in the gorgeous mountains of  Western North Carolina. Asheville became our second home. While my boys were young, I worked in the evenings at a bookstore, eventually becoming a manager in 1996. 
 
In 1997, I decided to complete my undergraduate degree. I finished my B.A. in English at Milligan College in 2000 and started graduate school at East Tennessee State University in 2001. I will graduate in May of 2003 with a Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary English.
 
Following graduation, we are planning to move to Columbus, Ohio where I hope to find a teaching position and eventually work on a Ph. D at Ohio State.

Interests and Hobbies

Books
 
As you can probably guess, I am a readaholic. Here are a few of my favorites.

I also love to read "adolescent literature." Follow this link for more information. 

Poetry

Since I was a teenager, I have adored the works of the British Romantic Poets. These are a few of my favorites and a link to a bit of information about each person.

I also enjoy the works of the following poets:

  • Sylvia Plath
  • Walt Whitman
  • John Donne

 

Music

I like many types of music. Here are a few of my favorite contemporary musicians.

I also enjoy classical music. I'm quite partial to Romantic composers (what a surprise, huh?)

  • Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, opus 14
  • Elgar: Enigma Variations
  • Tchaikovsky: No 6 in B minor (Pathétique), Op. 74
  • Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Opus 43
  • Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherzade
  • Smetana: The Moldau
  • Dvorák: Violoncello concerto No.1 in A Major, Op. 104 

In addition, I enjoy the following works:

  • Beethoven: Any symphony he composed
  • Orff: Carmina Burana
  • Ravel: Pavane pour une infante defunte
  • Barber: Adagio for Strings
  • Sibelius: Symphony No. 2
  • Respighi: Pini Di Roma
  • Stravinski: Le Sacre du printemps
  • Borodin: Prince Igor
  • Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
  • Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Festival Overture