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 hope to learn about you, too!
I’m originally from Ohio and have lived in Napa since I was 9 years old. I have one adult daughter (an NVC and Sonoma State graduate) who lives near Santa Cruz, a cranky Bichon Frise', Sid, and a sweet, Siamese mix kitty, Bo. 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. Up to that time, I worked locally in restaurants as a waitperson and bartender and in catering. After turning 30, I realized that I didn't want to turn 40 and still be waiting tables. And I wanted my daughter, then four years old, to be proud of me.
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 help and support others 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 (East Bay) to earn my master’s degree in applied statistics. It took me ten years to complete my higher education. I started teaching in 1997 and love my job. I taught part-time at NVC, Solano Community College, and College of Marin before getting a full-time position at NVC in 2000.
The entire time I was a student, I was raising my daughter and working 2-3 jobs at a time. Having done this, in addtition to being 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.
For fun, I like to cook for my family and friends, watch movies, road bike, ski, hike, garden, travel, and read. My recent fave adventures have been ziplining in Hawaii and rafting the Colorado river through the Grand Canyon. I also love jigsaw puzzles, wind-up toys, and Legos.
I sincerely hope that my classroom will provide a positive, challenging, and satisfying learning experience for you.
Diane Van Deusen