Creative Exercise #2


By now, you should all be hard at work on your first nonfiction assignment! And as you'll have read in  Bird by Bird,  telling YOUR truth  is one of the most critical aspects (Lamott would say MOST critical). In the comments below, write an OKCupid profile for yourself - or the central focus of your nonfiction piece  (could by your grandfather, sister, best friend, an anonymous crush...  Be as creative as you like (doesn't have to be aimed at dating).  Be sure to also make a comment on a classmate's response for full credit.

  • Self summary
  • What I'm doing with my life
  • I'm really good at
  • The first thing people notice about me
  • Six things I couldn't do without
  • I spend a lot of time thinking about
  • I'm looking for
  • You should message me if


31 thoughts on “Creative Exercise #2

  1. Andrew Lange

    My Self-Summary

    My name is Andrew Lange. I am 20 years old, and am presently a psychology student at University of Alaska Fairbanks. I was born in San Luis Obispo, California and grew up in a combination of nearby Atascadero, as well as in Sitka and Port Alexander, Alaska, as I had split parents. While the area of California I spent my childhood in was suburban, the area of southeast Alaska I grew up in (going back and forth between parents until my mother passed away shortly after I was 16, after which point I stayed in Alaska) was quite rural; Port Alexander had a year-round population of less than 100 people. I thus lived a largely off-grid lifestyle during my teenage years, until I moved off to college in Fairbanks, going from an area of less than 100 people to an area of 100,000.

    What am I Doing With my Life?

    At present, I am studying psychology, and will also be pursuing a minor in business administration. Once I graduate with my Bachelor’s I intend to most likely move back to California, being that I am a fifth-generation native Californian, unless some other adventure presents itself.

    I’m Really Good at…

    I’m really good at making new friends.

    The First Thing People Notice About me is…

    People often tell me that I write extremely well, or that I speak in an extremely articulate fashion.

    Six Things I Couldn’t do Without are…

    The hobby of owning and restoring military vehicles, my network of wonderful friends, music, people with a witty sense of humor, my wonderful home in gorgeous southeast Alaska, and God.
    I Spend a Lot of Time Thinking About…

    My future, the military vehicle hobby, my financial situation, the next steps in my education, possible careers, and dreaming of adventure.

    I’m Looking for…

    Someone who is easygoing, lighthearted, has a witty sense of humor, is passionate about the same things I am, yet is willing to let me maintain my own individuality.

    You Should Message me if…

    You fit the above criteria 

  2. Aubri Stogsdill

    Self Summary
    My name is Aubri Stogsdill and I am nearly half way to 40. I would say where I’m from, but to be honest I’m not exactly sure. The other day I realized that I’m somewhat of a boring person. Not to say that I’m uninteresting, its just that I’d rather sit on my couch, look out the window, and drink tea than paint the town red. Generally, I enjoy watching movies, knitting, and leaving parties early. Nothing kills me more than impersonal small talk. I’d rather have a deep conversation with a stranger than discuss the weather with someone that I used to know. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t really have time for people who aren’t convinced that I’m hilarious.

    What I’m doing with my life
    I would like to do something in the film industry. Nothing makes my heart come alive like capturing a powerful story with a camera. Aside from that, I am devoted to obeying, loving, and following Jesus Christ. That being said, I’m really involved in my church.

    I’m really good at giving advice, making people laugh, giving great hugs, and putting homework off until the very last minute.

    Generally, the first thing people notice about me is my height, which is understandable as I am six foot. Yes, the air is clearer up here. No, I don’t play basketball or volleyball, and no I wouldn’t feel more confident if I lived in Norway where the average woman is 5′ 11”, but thanks for asking.

    Six things I couldn’t do without (Not listed in order of importance)
    1. Close friendships
    2. Deep talks
    3. Green tea
    4. Warm socks
    5. My bible and journal
    6. Family

    I spend a lot of time thinking about what is coming next in my life. This is such an interesting time because I know that everything is about to change, but I have no clue what the changes are or how they will affect me.

    I’m looking for someone that will make me laugh, pull me out of my shell, and has a good sense of direction because Lord knows I was not blessed with that sense.

    You should message me if you love Jesus and your mama and are at least 6′ 1”.

    1. Naimy Schommer

      WELL, I love Jesus, my mama, and am sometimes 6’1″ when I wear the right heels. I also have a tendency to procrastinate, and deeply value warm socks. I think this “dating profile” format is a little odd, but we’re already friends so I can use it to reaffirm our friendship. Let’s grab some green tea and work on next week’s assignment this week.

    2. Aundrea Pierce


      I’m sold, you’re hilarious! I absolutely cherish deep conversations but I wish I could be more like you and not be so shy to have them with strangers. I’m also awkward at the small impersonal talk, I literally talk as I’m walking away. You turned in your homework before I did, so keep up the good work! Have you been to Japan? If you haven’t I highly recommend you visit at least once in your lifetime. They live and breath green tea! I miss the 99cents green tea ice cream there. I don’t favor the taste of hot green tea but I love green tea lattes! It warms my heart that God is important to you, I love reading about people’s experience and their walk with the lord.


  3. Naimy Schommer

    -Self summary-
    My name is Naimy Schommer, and I’m 20 years old. I grew up in south Anchorage and miss the ocean very much. I like old music, know nothing about cars, read exorbitantly, and sometimes draw things.

    -What I’m doing with my life-
    Currently I’m writing, looking for jobs in my field, and stressing about student loans.

    -What I’m really good at-
    For ten years I was a professional athlete, but after some injuries last season, I find myself coaching juniors, spending more time exploring hobbies, and dedicating more time to my studies.

    -The first thing people notice about me-
    My outgoing personality-I get along well with most people and am a true extrovert

    -Six things I couldn’t do without-
    1. The Norton/Heath Anthology of American Literature
    2. access to GoogleDrive
    3. a 16 oz. Vanilla Americano
    4. my Bible and some quiet time
    5. 101 Dalmatians (the good one, not that live-action monstrosity)
    6. a gym membership and a good playlist

    -I spend a lot of time thinking about-
    dogs, the people I love, the future, books I’ve read

    -I’m looking for-
    an education and an opportunity to write

    -You should message me if-
    -you need something proofread; I love proofreading.
    -you need to know anything about the writing center or want to schedule an appointment (I work there).
    -you need a book recommendation/have a recommendation for me

  4. Cassidy Kramer

    – Self-summary
    Hello! My name is Cassidy Kramer, I am 18 years old, and an Inupiaq from a rural town above the Arctic Circle called Kotzebue, Alaska. I grew up in this town, and am currently a senior in high school. I love to go out into the wilderness and subsist, whether it be hunting, trapping, fishing, cutting wood, or picking berries. I also like to play volleyball recreationally and competitively. The things that make me laugh are: stupid jokes, vine compilations, and people falling (after I check if they’re okay). My favorite television shows include: The Office, Law and Order: SVU, Stranger Things, New Girl, and House. I love being outdoors, but don’t be surprised if I want to stay in all-day watching said shows or romantic comedies. I am very close with my family, and I like making new friends.
    – What I’m doing with my life
    My end goal is to become a Physical Therapist and hopefully a volleyball coach.
    – I am
    Cuddly, funny, loud, determined, and smart. — Most of these depend on how comfortable I am with you.
    – I am good at
    Volleyball, and making people laugh.
    – The first thing people notice about me
    My eyes (even though they are black).
    – Six things I couldn’t do without
    1. God
    2. Family
    3. Friends
    4. Coffee
    5. Cellphone
    6. Internet
    – I spend a lot of time thinking about
    My future.
    – I’m looking for
    A guy who loves God more than he loves me, hard-working, adventurous, athletic, funny, smart, and close with his family.
    – You should message me if
    You are everything said, or you just want a new friend. 🙂

    1. Michelle Cordova

      Hi Cassidy! First of all, I want to say congratulations on taking college courses during high school. I wish I would have had that sort of opportunity and motivation when I was your age! I grew up in Alabama, so I’m sure our experiences are completely different, and I hope to see more of that in future assignments! Good luck in this class and on your journey to becoming a Physical Therapist!

  5. Michelle Cordova

    Self Summary
    My name is Michelle Cordova and I am 30 years old. My husband, Joshua, and I have been married for 10 years and we have 3 children, Olivia-8, Brennan-6, and Jack-5. We recently relocated to my home town of Enterprise, Alabama after 10 wonderful, but long, years in the Army. I am taking 2 online classes this semester through the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working towards my bachelors degree in early childhood education. I love being outdoors, whether it is relaxing by the pool or taking my kids to the park, but I also enjoy baking and having lazy days, cuddled up on the couch watching movies.

    What I’m doing with my life:
    School, school, and more school- hoping to one day be a 4th or 5th grade teacher.

    What I am really good at:
    Being a mom and shopping

    The first thing people notice about me:
    My smile and my positive attitude

    Six things I couldn’t do without:
    God, family, carbs, sweet tea, cell phone, and friends

    I spend a lot of time thinking about;
    School, my family, and my future

    I’m looking for:
    Friendships and an A in this class!

    You should message me if:
    You have any questions or need advice!

  6. Sierra Russell-McCollum

    -Self Summary
    My name is Sierra Russell-McCollum and I am 18 years old. I am a proud Oregonian from Portland, Oregon and lived there my whole life. Currently I am living in Fairbanks, Alaska studying Biological Sciences. Next School year I plan on moving down to California to finish my degree at Santa Cruz while my boyfriend plays basketball on a full ride scholarship. I am and outdoors person and love traveling. In my high school they offered animal science classes that was an actual farm we went to every other day and learned about animal sciences and agriculture. I have always loved writing and being with animals. These two things bring me happiness. Another thing I love is the beach, I have always been drawn towards it ( which is probably why I will be moving to California in the summer).

    -What I’m Doing With My Life
    Spending all my time at school, watching basketball, training young softball players, and trying not to spend all my money on books and food.

    -I’m Really Good At
    I’m really good at being patient with kids, finding cool lookouts in new towns, and calming people down.

    -The First Thing People Notice About Me
    Is either my height or my eyebrows. I am 5’8”, which is a normal height but people still comment on it. And my eyebrows are pretty nice, not to brag or anything.

    -Six Things I Couldn’t Live Without
    1. My dog Jasper
    2. The beach
    3. Books
    4. My Grandparents
    5. Sports
    6. Mexican Food

    -I’m Looking For
    A bright future either writing or being a veterinarian, creating my own family, and having as much fun as possible.

    -You Should Message Me If
    You can relate or connect with anything I have written above or you are trying to make a friend who loves food as much as you.

    1. Aubri Stogsdill

      I totally relate to your love for Mexican food. Have you been to taco king? 10/10 would recommend you try it out. Also, I think its neat that you love the beach so much! I lived in Hawaii for a bit and went down to the Cook Islands for a few weeks over the summer. The ocean sure is beautiful!

      1. Ben Knapp

        I too love food. I don’t think I can live without it! Mexican food is amazing, but I have heard that Taco King doesn’t always pay their workers well, which is a shame because their food is so good. I also like dogs, EVEN THOUGH CATS ARE BETTER!!!!!

  7. Katherine Whelchel

    -Self summary
    My name is Katherine Whelchel and I am an extra extravert. I’m currently 19 and studying Marketing at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I have lived in Alaska my whole life, in fact, I’ve never even moved houses. You will usually find me talking to someone I just met or waving at people who don’t remember meeting me. I have been dancing for 11 years, and I currently teach dance to a bunch of crazy 3-4 year olds. This either means that I’m good under pressure, or I’m really good at talking in a “princess” voice to get their attention. One of my student told me I have Elsa hair.. so that’s something. I love spending time with my parents and watching cheesy Hallmark movies. I’m also really into fashion.

    -What I’m doing with my life
    Since I’m studying Marketing, I hope to use this in the future (hopefully). Honestly, my dream is to be like J. Lo in “The Wedding Planner” or to work for a fashion magazine. No matter what I do job wise, I am passionate about using my dance as a ministry. I don’t currently know what that looks like, but I trust God to show me the way.

    -I’m really good at
    I’m good at making friends, talking with absolutely anyone, encouraging, planning, and being optimistic.

    -The first thing people notice about me
    Some people have told me that the first thing they notice about me is my hair (like Elsa’s, remember), but I think I can tend to scare people when they first meet me. Peoples first impression is probably “who is this chick?”.

    -Six things I couldn’t do without
    Mom jeans
    Social Interaction

    -I spend a lot of time thinking about
    I mainly focus on whatever God is showing me in that season of my life. It is really easy for me to over analyze and worry about silly things, so I try set my mind on Jesus. I am also a HUGE romantic so sometimes I’m thinking about cute boys, but not all the time.

    -I’m looking for
    A guy who loves Jesus, is introverted, has long hair, and preferably is of Nordic decent.

    -You should message me if
    You just check the first box of the above criteria, or especially if you check all of them.

  8. Caitlyn Williams

    Caitlyn Williams
    Self Summary
    24, January 2018

    Hi! I’m Caitlyn Williams and I am 19 years old. I graduated in 2016, now I’m pursuing my Associates in General Education while figuring out what I would like to major in. I’m a teacher’s aide and I’m leaning towards studying early childhood education. I primarily work with elementary students and I like it so far. I love my job, and hope to come back to teach.

    I live in a village called Akiak, and it has a population of about 370 people. It’s on the Kuskokwim River, and the nearest ‘hub’ is Bethel, Alaska. Our school is a K-12 school, and there’s about 115 students. We are known for earning academic awards, and I am glad most students here are competitive. Sports are very important here, especially basketball. It gets hard living in such a small village, but I kinda enjoy living in such a remote place. Alaska is beautiful!

    I am good at a lot of things. I’m a great doodler, and I dabble in piano. The last one is a lie, but I do know how to play Fur Elise. I’m also a great cheerleader, I cheer for our high school basketball players. I also have skills that I need to be successful, and that’s what’s important to me. I am also good at functioning on 5 hours of sleep. (night owl problems)

    The first thing people notice about me are my eyes. I think it’s because I get a lot of compliments. People also notice my smile, because who doesn’t like seeing people happy?

    Everyone has something that they can’t live without, mine are:
    My family
    Music <3
    My phone
    My friends
    Support from those around me

    I spend my time thinking about my future, and various other things. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for me. I’m a hard worker and I strive for a challenge. These are good attributes and I spend time thinking about what I’ll be doing and where I’ll be going. I also spend time planning my days out, and I also think about my friends and family and how they’re doing. I also tend to think about how others are experiencing life in general. We’re all different and it’s amazing how diverse we are as people.

    I’m looking for someone I can call my best friend. Someone that’s there through thick and thin, and won’t give up easily. I’d like someone who has drive to achieve more, because that’s a flattering attribute. I need someone who can be independent too because I don’t like clingy people. Someone that can be my best friend, but also give me a little space.

    You should message me if you need someone to talk to. You should also message me if you’re looking for someone to talk to about anything but the weather. I’m open and honest if you need an opinion on something too!

  9. Aundrea Pierce

    Self summary
    Hi there! My name is Aundrea and I lived in Alaska for four years. I currently live in California with my husband and two kiddos. I’m currently taking two class online through UAF to plug away at my Bachelor’s. I grew up in a military home and bounced around the map, I still am! I would love to one day have a place to call “my home”. Growing up I did not take school seriously and years later I’m regretting that and I hold education as a top priority in our family. I enjoy crochet, crafts, exercising, church, and animals (especially dogs!).

    What I’m doing with my life
    I’m taking one day at a time and living each day as fully and beautifully as possible. I just want to connect with people emotionally and have a positive impact on everything I do and on most people I meet. I get the honor of being a mom to two beautiful little kids, or wait…they get the honor!

    I’m really good at
    Being optimistic and finding a solution to challenges. Making people laugh and sadly sometimes it’s not intentional because naturally, I’m a dork! I’m great at letting anxiety get in the way of simple tasks. I’m also really good at reading people, as much as I am confusing them.

    The first thing people notice about me
    Physically, blonde hair and blue eyes. Beyond that, you will likely notice I’m a little shy and anxious but then you will discover the best things about me once I feel comfortable.

    Six things I couldn’t do without
    Coffee – My dog (it’s a tie!)
    Prescribed Pills

    I spend a lot of time thinking about
    Life in general, morals, other people’s well-being, and food!

    I’m looking for
    Peace on earth! Reward if found!

    You should message me if
    You need anything or just someone to listen. I care about you!

    1. Jessica Honebein

      Aundrea I totally relate to you when it comes to anxiety in life. I think that one thing that has actually helped me tremendously with mine is just writing everyday, spilling words onto paper rather they really make since or not! I think it is awesome that you are highlighting what you feel as being important in the family and being an awesome role model by taking classes. I wish you best of luck in getting your Bachelors degree, I bet its a lot of work to juggle two kids and school!

    2. Katherine Whelchel

      Hi Aundrea,
      I really admire your desire to live in the present and take each day as it comes. I am trying to do this as well. Every day is a gift and needs to be cherished! I have always wanted to go to California, it is probably drastically different from Alaska. Good luck with your bachelors, and I hope you have a good semester!

  10. Jessica Honebein

    Jessica Honebein- Creative Exercise #2

    Self Summary…
    My name is Jessica Honebein and I am nineteen years old. I am a student at University of Alaska Fairbanks and I am working towards getting my Nursing degree. I grew up in a small town in Colorado until I was about ten years old. At ten my parents made the big move up to Alaska with my three other siblings (two older sister, and one younger brother) and my two dogs. From ten years old until I started college I lived in Seward, Alaska. Seward is a very pretty place to live, but I do appreciate the size of Fairbanks better. I do go back to Seward for work in the summer months, and then come back up here to Fairbanks for the school year.

    What I am doing with my life…
    Like I said earlier I am hoping to earn my Nursing degree, but in the meantime I work in the summer. In the summer I am a Trail Guide at Bardy’s Trail Rides (Horse Trail Rides). I am absolutely blessed with this summer job as I get to bring my dog along with me on the tours and get to take in the beautiful scenery and people. In the winter months I try to focus more on schooling and my active life. I have a husky/hound mix (runt of the sled dog group) that keeps me very busy. Her name is Oats, and she appreciates very long hikes. She is just over a year old so she still has lots of puppy life in herself.

    I’m really good at…
    Listening and helping support my friends decisions, I like to think of myself as a fairly good problem solver.

    The first thing people notice about me is…
    My freckles! I have been gifted with many many angel kisses (As my mom used to tell me when I was younger).

    Six things I couldn’t do without…
    1. Family
    2. Friends
    3. My Dog (Oats)
    4. Outdoor activities (hiking, running, nature in general)
    5. Means of Transportation (my vehicle or airplanes)
    6. Travel

    I spend a lot of time thinking about…
    The future and what it holds for me. I like to think that I have a rough plan set out for my life, but every now and then a roadblock hits me. I think it is just nice to have a little plan on where I am going in life and the goals I want to set to get there.

    I’m looking for…
    More friends to connect with up here in Fairbanks, or anywhere for that matter! You can’t have too many friends. It’s always nice to know you have someone to bounce writing ideas off of.

    You should message me if…
    You want someone that will help you throughout this class with ideas when it comes to topics, or even just another peer to talk to about a piece of writing!

    1. Caitlyn Williams

      Hey Jessica! I’m glad you enjoy living in Alaska! It’s so vast and beautiful here. It sounds like you’ve got it in the bag! I’ve never been to Seward or Fairbanks, but I hope to visit those towns one day. Oats sounds like an energetic pup! It’s true that you can’t have too many friends, I like your attitude!! Good luck with your future endeavors, maybe I’ll message you for some advice on my writing sometime.

    2. Corbin Knapp

      Hi Jessica!
      Like Caitlyn said it is cool that you like living in Alaska. I have yet to be in a place that has as much wilderness. It’s cool that your summer job is working with horses. my cousins in Maine have a horse and I never learned to ride it so you probably won’t see me on the trails. I’m glad that you like the outdoors, It is always cool to find someone who enjoys doing what Alaska has to offer. Oats sounds awesome, runts of the litter are usually the most fun! I have a Great Dane/Black Lab mix and she is four years old, but she still acts like a puppy. I wish you luck with your nursing degree!

  11. Ben Knapp

    Authors note: the following profile is based on a character from my nonfiction flash essay. The descriptions provided are how the character would describe himself, rather than how I might describe him.

    My self summary

    Hello! I’m Oreo. I have beautiful grey and white hair, with an impressive grey spot on my left arm. I enjoy sleeping, eating, and throwing up. I like to eat plastic, and my staff enjoys cleaning up the plastic I throw up. My personality is perfect in every way, and everyone who says otherwise is wrong.

    What I’m doing with my life

    Right now I spend most of my time in creative interior decorating and remodeling. I am currently de-upholstering a chair, as well as experimenting in rug staining and sculpting. I also spend a lot of my time sleeping, as a good lifestyle is important for your health.

    I’m really good at

    I am very skilled at punching dogs. My other skills include sleeping all day, biting, throwing up on the floor, and redistributing items on crowded shelves. I have a real talent for artistically arraying items, such as bottles of paint on the floor. As you can see, I have a very broad skillset that can be utilized in a variety of situations.

    The first thing people usually notice about me

    I have a great personality and amazing hair. I am rather short, and sometimes shy. I have big hairy ears and facial hair. People also may notice my large eyes. As you can see, I am very handsome.

    The six things I could never do without

    1. Sleeping.
    2. My fire.
    3. My staff.
    4. My brother.
    5. My food.
    6. My couch.
    7. Breaking the rules

    I spend a lot of time thinking about

    How difficult it is to find a good position to sleep in. I have to balance comfort with stability, as I don’t want to fall off whatever surface I’m sleeping on. One of my preferred positions is with my feet tucked up by my head, but this position is impractical on curved surfaces. As you can see, I have a very hard life.

    I’m looking for

    Someone to give me food. Please help me, I am starving here! I don’t know how long I can last! My dish is almost half empty!

    You should message me if

    You have food for me! I don’t know how long I can hold out!

    1. Mekayla

      I really enjoyed this. I haven’t gotten the chance to read your flash essay, but I’m really hoping that Oreo is a cat. Otherwise I’d be really concerned about this character and their well being, as well as their treatment of dogs and perfectly good furniture.

  12. Corbin Knapp

    Self Summary

    I am a professional goof, board game geek, and animal lover (except parrots, my friends’ parrot swore at me and acted really creepy) and I have lived in Alaska all my life. I try to always be optimistic even when things seem dark and horrible and I enjoy reading science fiction and fantasy books in my spare time. I am an avid fan of Star Trek, Star Wars and other science fiction shows or movies. My favorite place to be is outdoors, and I love hiking, skiing, and just wandering around outside. Some of my hobbies include: taking pictures of wildlife and scenery, building miniatures for tabletop games, and reading books.

    What I am going to do with my life is to go to UAF, get a degree in Natural Resource Management, and then graduate after four years to hunt for a job at the National Parks Service. I hope to get a job as a Park Ranger.

    The things that I hope I’m good at are: doing my school on time, making people laugh, and being an extreme goofball when I’m not working on something. I always try to make people laugh, because everybody deserves a chance to be happy although sometimes I make things worse!

    The first thing that people probably notice about me is my red hair (no, not the fake red hair that is dyed, but real red hair). The second thing that they would probably notice about me is that I tend to talk way too loud, which has been mentioned to me before. I don’t mean to be loud, it’s just the way I talk. I also tend to not talk very much and be extremely tense when I first meet somebody, but when I start knowing someone I will relax. Some stuff that I could not live without are: my friends, my family, my food, my life, my pets, and wildlife preserves and national parks.

    I spend a lot of time thinking of ways to go through college without any debt, worrying if I have offended somebody, hoping I said the right thing for certain situations, and trying not to annoy people. It’s cool to think about the past and the future too though, what I’ve done so far with my life and what I could do If I had a DeLorean like the one from Back to The Future. I am looking for new friends and a chance to write like the authors I love to read. Message me if you have criticism of what I write or just want someone to have a good laugh with.

    1. Monica Gallagher

      I talk loud toooo! I’m also shy and tense at first, but then once I open up, I’m up! I tend to be a worry wart sometimes as well, it’s a pain. Wait, so what would you do if you had a DeLorean? Also, which park would you want to work in when you’re a ranger? Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains are insane! Another one if you please, what did you think of the latest Star Wars? Okay, bye.

      1. Corbin Knapp

        Well……. If I had a DeLorean I would travel back in time to the 1920’s Alaska so I could make more parks. If I could choose a park I could work in I would work in Denali. I know that might sound cliché, but I have gone there every year since I was eight, It ‘s like a second home to me. The new Star Wars was waaaaaaay better than the Force Awakens! Kylo Ren didn’t have as many tantrums, my favorite characters Luke and Finn were in it, and they introduced Rose who is awesome!

  13. Monica Gallagher

    I’m a massage therapist that loves smoothies and my two stinky dogs. I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska and started my degree there at UAA. Since then, I have moved to Oregon, Virginia and now South Carolina. My current location is in Pawleys Island, so I am on the beach and loving the warmth, even though winter is still winter. I am 32 which is weird to say because I don’t feel like it and I have been known to forget my age since around the late 20’s mark. Genuinely forgetting, not like some apprehension of telling my age. It just has never really meant much to me, I’m sure it will when I’m 60, but who knows. I have a live-in boyfriend that I’ve been with for six years and he drives me equally mad and motivated in love. He was my push for expanding out of Alaska and other travel adventures. Broke me out of my box I suppose. I love spirituality, health, the ways of the mind, nature, animals, the quirkiness of humans, cooking, film, books, music and fuzzy blankets. I am a weirdo and I like to find other people who make up a larger tribe of weirdos. A big, colorful ball of goofy.

    What I’m doing with my life
    My aspiration is to become a licensed counselor to help other people get through this crazy thing that we all call life. I’ve been a practicing massage therapist for years and have been listening to people on my table. If I really think about it, I was listening to other people before that. I was always that friend that had the big ears ya know? I’m not sure how good I was at giving the advice and all, but I could sit there and listen for hours. Sometimes I’d say the right thing or ask the right question apparently, but other times it wouldn’t have even mattered what I said if anything. So, I guess, I had organically been doing that for a while, which is why I picked psychology as my major when I had graduated from high school back in Anchorage. So ya, that is one of the things that I’m doing. I’m also almost always doing either a semi or complete overhaul on me. I’m a self-improvement addict I think. It’s odd, but I’m sure my boyfriend appreciates it. Growing up a little bit has taught me a little about time and so am trying to spend some more quality time and talk with my family. I’m always learning even when I’m not in school, which is actually hard for me right now, because being away from traditional school for so long, I sometimes rear up with having to learn what ‘they’ want me to learn. But, that’s another story and I’m getting off topic and writing to much just for this one section.

    I’m really good at
    This is sort of an odd thing that I think I developed from watching my Mexican grandma’s cooking, but I’m really good at making something out of nothing. And I mean that in cooking specifically, though I can also make something out of nothing, especially when I’m a week away from the red day. Anywaaays, I never follow recipes, I never measure anything and there could be seemingly nothing in the fridge or pantry. The next thing you know I’ll be walking out to the dinner table with this random but usually awesome dish that surprises most people. I really never thought anything of it. The more and more comments that I received about it, I finally realized that maybe it was slightly abnormal. Someone recently told me that I really need to start writing some of it down as I’m cooking. I may try it, but I also don’t even want to, I feel like it would kind of take away from it. I really love cooking. I put my music on, start chopping away and next thing you know? Voila!

    The first thing people notice about me
    Is probably how weird I look. Seriously though! You don’t know how people look at me and their like what are you? Meaning what is my nationality or where do I come from? Whenever I tell people I’m from Alaska, they assume that I’m Alaska Native and sometimes I go with it. It gets frustrating sometimes having to explain to people all the time why you look the way that you do. When you work in a public setting it can happen quite a bit. There was awhile there that I was just making up different mixes of nationalities. It brought me humor and helped me deal, but I really wasn’t good at it. That’s the other thing, I’m annoyingly honest and I usually divulge way too much information necessary to whatever situation it is. It gets me in trouble sometimes. By the way, I’m Mexican-American, who sometimes looks Indian, both India Indian and Native American Indian, and who also sometimes looks Alaska Native. I get Puerto Rican sometimes too.

    Six things I couldn’t do without
    Hm…Other people, especially my person
    My doggos
    My phone (I know)
    Mountains and/or Ocean, preferably both
    A Vitamix

    I spend a lot of time thinking about
    The ways of the world and the ways of people. I’ve always been a curious person and l think it’s just getting worse as I get older. It’s not a bad quality in a way, but it does serve as a sort of unrest. It’s an expedition, adventure type brain that I have up there. It wants to know why, how, who, what, well could we do that? I am always thinking, I’m not always talking, but I am ALWAYS thinking. That meme that’s out there that says this is what a woman’s mind looks like and it’s a whole bunch of computer tabs that are open, ya that’s me. Some of it’s dumb. Other stuff might be slightly useful, which would be cool if I could use it to help other people or at least make them laugh, even if it’s at me.

    I’m looking for
    Meaning, experience, humor and “ah ha” moments. I’m looking to have a lot of fun while I’m here, while also continuing to broaden my experiences and find meaning to where I can use that to help others in any way that I can.

    You should message me if
    If you’re a weirdo. LOL. Sorry, I told myself that I wasn’t going to put an “lol” in here, but I had to, because I’ve been pretty much giggling inwardly throughout this writing and that last part got me.

    1. T Gordon

      It was a pleasure to read your bio! We have some commonalities on your ‘couldn’t live without ‘ list, though I did not list all those things myself. I also love beautiful mountain and ocean scenery, and dogs. It sounds like you’ve seen a lot of beautiful places in your life–you are very lucky to have traveled as much as you have! I hope you never stop traveling.

      It is great that your curiosity is only growing as you get older. That’s a great quality for a writer and for a human in general. It sounds like you are making the most out of your life!

  14. Leah Rego

    Hi, my name is Leah Rego! I’m a wife, mother of 5 kids, 2 dogs, and a cat, full time mail contractor and studying for a double major in secondary education and English. I was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and moved to North Pole, Alaska at the age of 6. I lived in North Pole until I was 19. I moved around a lot after that, but ended up back in my hometown when I was 31.

    What I’m Doing with My Life:
    I’m currently studying to fulfill my lifelong goal of becoming an English teacher.

    I’m Really Good At:
    I’m good at writing, though not so much about myself. I’m very good at editing other people’s writing. I’m also good at drawing, painting, crocheting and a variety of other crafts. I’m a fairly decent cook, and a great baker, especially cookies.

    The first thing people notice about me:
    The first thing people notice about me is my eyes, hair, smile? I really don’t know I’ve never asked anyone, I just know it’s to my laugh, I don’t laugh much.

    Six things I cant live without:
    I can’t live without coffee, books, my family, music, and warmth, not necessarily in that order.

    I spend a lot of time thinking about:
    I spend a lot of time thinking about my family and work, also writing, music and my pets.

    I’m looking for:
    Knowledge and beauty in the world.

    You should message me if:
    You want to be ignored, I’m not a particularly social person outside of my family.

  15. Mekayla

    Self summary:
    My name is Mekayla Ruiz. I am a Wildlife Biology major. I was born and raised (mostly) in Gresham, Oregon. I am the oldest seven; I have five sisters and one brother. I have two cats whom I love very much, and a boyfriend of three years now. We make a very cute and happy family. I don’t like talking about myself very much, so this assignment is a challenge.

    What I’m doing with my life:
    I’m just sort of doing it and hoping for the best. I definitely have aspirations that I’m working really hard for, but I understand that my goals aren’t everything. Not to sound like a total hippie, but I’m just going with the flow.

    I’m really good at:
    Being happy, being nice, singing, drawing, soccer, sleeping, and board games.

    The first thing people notice about me:
    I mostly keep to myself, but I don’t hold back when I do have something to say. I love to laugh. Usually people have heard me sing or heard about the fact that I’m a musician before meeting me, so that’s a big first impression as well. I’m also really small.

    Six things I couldn’t do without:
    1.) Loved ones
    2.) Music and art
    3.) Travel
    4.) Books
    5.) Coffee
    6.) Laughter

    I spend a lot of time thinking about:
    – Places I want to go and things I want to see
    – I like to plan adventures for slightly warmer days
    – Books I’ve read, new ideas that I want to expand on
    – My cats, my friends, my family
    – New things I can create.
    – Music (This is a big one)

    I’m looking for:
    More hobbies to fall in love with, good friends that I can be my wacky self with, good books to read, more music to devour, and a career path that I find fulfilling.

    You should message me if:
    – You have any book/music recommendations
    – You have a good joke that you want to share
    – If you’re a musician looking for a good jam sesh
    – You need something proofread

    1. Josh Hartman

      Hi Mekayla, I think it’s cool that you enjoy music so much. That’s also a big part of my life. I’m not that good or anything but I play the guitar, sometimes I play piano and I program music.

      Also a book that I’ve read recently that I’ve recommended to a lot of my friends is House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski

  16. T Gordon

    I am almost in my mid-twenties, and I work at UAF as a technician for an atmospheric research program. Before that, I pursued an English and secondary education degree in the midwest before realizing that I wanted to come to Alaska and become a park ranger. I was thinking of park ranger at the time because I had no idea what else I would do with the Geoscience degree I would eventually receive in summer of 2016. I ended up doing various other things besides being a park ranger. Oh well, maybe one day!

    I am nearly married and am trying to be a homemaker, awesome employee, dog mom, and entrepreneur at the same time. At least the dog mom thing is working.

    I think I’m good at writing, but I’m reluctant to say ‘really good.’ I’ve been out of practice for a bit.
    What I am really good at is taking chances at various things: jobs, travel, friends, carnival rides, etc. I’m really good at being nice and wanting to learn about you–yes, you!

    The first thing people notice about me is probably my massive amounts of hair. I should get a haircut soon. Another thing they notice is that if I am waking anywhere near your proximity, I will quickly apologize if I think I am impeding your travel in anyway. God forbid I open the door when you are on the other side of it. I’ve been meaning to stop doing that.

    6 things I couldn’t do without: caffeine, stories (oral or written), travel, the sun, and my dogs.

    I spend a lot of time thinking about writing, but not actually doing it. That is starting to change with my enrollment in a creative writing class with deadlines. I also spend time thinking about how to make more money, how to be better at my job, how to make my house look better, and how to travel more.

    I’m looking for ideas, inspiration, and lessons to learn from all of you. I don’t have a clear idea of how to get these things, but I know they will come when I least expect them.

    You should message me if you want to suggest books to read or places to visit (especially internationally).

  17. Josh Hartman

    Does anyone really know themselves? No.
    by Josh Hartman
    My Self-Summary:
    I’m Josh. Currently I’m a biology student at UAF however I’m thinking about switching to communications because I really enjoy science writing. I was born in Alaska and I’ve lived here my entire life, with a few excursions out of state. My family has moved around Alaska a lot based around where we could find work since my parents are self-employed. Often times it was difficult financially but they’re doing alright now.
    What am I doing with my life:
    I don’t know. I’m working in journalism/public relations and going to college now. After that I have a lot of different ideas but nothing that I’m sure about yet. The future might be bright, I’m not sure yet though, I haven’t spotted it.
    I’m really good at:
    I think that I’m alright at writing but I only have a few years of experience so I don’t think I can say that I’m good yet.
    The first thing people notice about me:
    People often comment on the fact that I’m tall.
    Six things I couldn’t do without are:
    I love my job at the Geophysical Institute. I own an acoustic guitar that has a few rubber bands wrapped around the tuning pegs to keep them from rattling and duct tape on the corner where the body is cracked. I have a microphone and pop filter that I use for recording things. I have a few friends who are pretty important to me. I have a glass water bottle that I try to keep with me at all times. My crappy 1988 Nissan Pathfinder has been incredibly useful to me.
    I spend a lot of time thinking about:
    Get rich quick schemes that will start out nefarious but through the course of a number of setbacks and misadventures I will have been forced to work with a small group of eclectic vagabonds who ultimately teach me the meaning of friendship and help me to renounce my greedy ways.
    I’m looking for:
    Dopamine and serotonin, I seemed to have misplaced mine.
    You should message me if:
    You’re an individual who enjoys adventures and has an open mind.

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