Despite some very intense experiences, I’ve been exceptionally fortunate in life.   I even use the phrase “Lucky Penni” to describe myself.

Background:  I grew up in Minnesota and Montana.  Growing up, I enjoyed a number of interests, including dance, playing violin and piano, and swimming.  My passion was synchronized swimming.  I chuckle that throughout my life, I have enjoyed numerous synchronous events.

Education:  Simply put, I was a bit of an academic nerd.

  • I graduated valedictorian from my high school class in 1984 in Billings, Montana.
  • Three years later, I graduated from Montana State University with a double major in statistics and German.
  • The following year, I earned a master’s degree in statistics, also from Montana State University.
  • The year after that, I studied in Basel, Switzerland on a Rotary scholarship.
  • Upon return, I earned a second master’s degree in Germanics from the University of Washington.

Apparently,  I was trying to pursue that professional student path, but it didn’t pay so well.

Career:  I worked as a statistician for a Fortune 100 company and enjoyed being buried in manufacturing data and business data.  After returning to Montana, I worked for a software company as both a knowledge engineer (technical web writer) and software tester.

Interests:  I love other languages and cultures. Twice I have lived outside the US. In high school, I was an exchange student to Aachen, Germany, for a summer. Five years later, I lived in Basel, Switzerland while studying at the Universit├Ąt Basel.

Being based in Montana, I try to take advantage of my surroundings, including taking road trips to the national parks in the area, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier National Parks. And I love returning to Banff whenever I can.

Locally, I have enjoyed volunteering with Special Olympics and a the local Eagle Mount program which provides athletic and interactive programs for people with physical or intellectual disabilities. Teaching and coaching the participants in downhill skiing has yielded many terrific memories. The best of which involve yelling out to and heckling the Eagle Mount athletes from the ski lifts.

Overall:  My life has been sometimes quite unpredictable, and even painful, but I wouldn’t trade it for anyone else’s.  I have learned way too much from a wide variety of experiences, including having my mind blow up.  In many ways, it was those most traumatic experiences that gave me the opportunity to learn more than I could ever imagine.