Well, I was born and raised in Minnesota, in St. Paul, Minnesota, to be exact. I won't say how long ago that was, but let's just say I'm no spring chicken. I grew up there with my rather large family of 8 brothers and 2 sisters. (I was the baby of the family, but I swear I wasn't spoiled!) We were 13 in all, probably the biggest family in the neighborhood, maybe in the state. I had a mostly happy childhood. My father and mother didn't have a lot of money, but we were never worried about keeping up with the Joneses. I wasn't much into sports like my brothers were, but I enjoyed reading and listening to music growing up. I went to grade school near my house, and then to a high school about 2 miles from where I lived. After graduating from high school, I went on to the University of Minnesota to get my bachelor's degree. It took me a while to learn the ropes at the university, but I finally graduated nearly 6 years later. Better late than never, as my father used to say. I then went to Mexico for a couple of years to teach English and to study Spanish. When I returned, I decided to become a teacher, so I went back to school to get my Master's degree. After teaching for a few years, I was offered a job in California, so I moved to Los Angeles in 1991. After working here a few years, I went back to school (again!) to get my Ph.D. I was starting to become a professional student. Well, I finished up my degree in four years, and then taught at the university for several years. Now, I work at a small research organization here in L.A. I am happily married, and I still enjoy reading and listening to music, and, of course, hosting ESL Podcast.