Welcome to class! Since we will be spending a significant amount of time together this semester, I thought I should introduce myself to you.
I’m originally from Ohio and have lived in Napa since 1966. I have one daughter, (a Sonoma State graduate) a Bichon Frisee dog and a Siamese mix kitty. I attended local schools including Irene Snow Elementary, Ridgeview Junior High, and Napa High School. I was not encouraged to attend college after high school, and in fact, had no interest in college whatsoever. Consequently, I didn’t end up taking a college class until I was 31 years old.
When I first came back to school (NVC) I thought I might like to enter the nursing program, but soon realized that nursing was not for me. As I started working on general education requirements, I was surprised to learn that I really loved mathematics, even though I had failed 8th grade algebra! As I continued to appreciate and value my own education, I decided to become a teacher so that I could support other people seeking their educational goals. I had thought about being a teacher since I was in Mrs. Kulas’ 5th grade class at Snow School. She was an awesome teacher. The kind you remember all your life. I wanted to be just like her.
After earning my AA degree from NVC, I transferred to Sonoma State where I earned my bachelors degree in mathematics with a concentration in statistics. Finally, I attended Cal State Hayward to earn my master’s degree in applied statistics. It took me ten years to complete my higher education. I’ve been teaching at NVC since 1997 and love my job. I have also taught part-time at Solano Community College and at College of Marin and have done a lot of tutoring over the years.
Before returning to and while attending college, I worked locally in the restaurant business as a waitress and bartender and in catering. I was raising my daughter and working 2-3 jobs at a time when I was a student. For fun, I like to cook for my family and friends, watch movies, road bike, ski, hike, garden, travel, and read. I also love jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, wind-up toys and Legos.
Having been a returning student while a single, working parent, also an EOPS and Financial Aid recipient, I feel that I fully understand the complexity of the life of a community college student. If at any time you have questions about the college, a class or just need someone to talk to, my door is open. You’re never bothering me. My favorite part of my job is hanging out with and helping students.
I sincerely hope that my classroom will provide a positive and satisfying learning experience for you.
Diane Van Deusen