Sunday, March 15, 2009

Women's Month Interviews: Moira E. Casey

How do we know each other?
Well, graduate school friends and colleagues primarily, but I’m sure you think of me as the inspiration behind “OtHello Kitty.” [ha ha ha -- it's true!]

How would you describe yourself?

I describe myself as smart and well-read, but approachable, practical, compassionate and fun. I can be a little scatterbrained and indecisive, but I like to think that these traits keep me free and open to all possibilities.

In what part of the world are you located?

I’m in Southwest Ohio, and while I don’t think I would say I’m unhappy to be here, I miss the East Coast and my East Coast friends and family. I miss the OCEAN!

Where can we find you on the web?

What don't people know about you that they ought to know?
Depends on which people. I guess they ought to know that I’m kind of shy, but I’m very friendly when people reach out to me and I genuinely enjoy people (mostly).

What's the most common mistake people make about you?
I don’t know — I think some people might think I’m snooty when I’m really just shy (see above). I think people often don’t take me seriously because I’m a short-ish woman who likes to laugh and have fun. Why should laughing and having fun be incompatible with intellectual ability and career ambition?

What are you most proud of having accomplished so far?
Earning my PhD, landing a tenure-track job, and getting tenure. It was all incredibly hard, but I did it. I’m also very proud to own my horse and be a good, capable equestrienne.

What ambitions do you have ahead of you?
I’d like to make it to full professor and publish a book. I’m also working on owning a second horse!

What's the best compliment you've ever received?
The best compliments are usually from my students, who will occasionally go out of their way to tell me how much I helped them or how much my course changed their ways of thinking. A teacher can’t ask for much more than that.

If something great happens to you, how do you celebrate?
Dinner and drinks with friends.

What's your best method for coping with stress?
Talking! Venting to friends and family. But riding and taking care of my horse helps too!

What makes you laugh?

Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin. Kittens at the horse barn playing with stuff or doing just about anything. My cat Simon sneezing on my other cat and making her run away. My Pakistani friend doing German, French, and Indian accents.

What makes you cry?
PMS! And also, human rights violations, animals in danger or being mistreated, and other people crying. I’m a member of ForeverMorgans, a group that rescues Morgan horses who are in danger of being shipped to slaughter. The people in the group shared a story about a little Morgan mare with ribbons braided into her mane that they were unable to rescue. They call her “Ribbons,” and they talk about how, surely, some little girl loved Ribbons, and yet, they couldn’t save her from slaughter. Ever since “Ribbons,” they say, if they commit to rescuing a horse, they succeed. That story never fails to make me cry; I’m tearing up just writing it.

What do you love?
Ben and Jerry’s Karamel Sutra ice cream. Oh, and, my family, my friends, my pets and springtime.

What do you loathe?
Freezing rain and the Miami Middletown Campus Event Management Calendar.

What's sexy?
Clothing that fits perfectly. And Hugh Jackman.

What's the best advice you were ever given?
“No effort is ever wasted.” It might not seem like advice, but think about it...

How should people be spending their money?
People should pay off their bad debt before they do anything. I have trouble respecting people who carry credit card balanaces and don’t have to. But if you have some extra, please donate to your local equine rescue organization.

Which woman/women have inspired you?
My mother, two of my undergraduate professors (Lahna Diskin and Jo Carney), and several of my graduate professors. I’ve known a lot of well-educated women in my life and they’ve almost all been inspirational.

If I gave you a million dollars, what would you do?

Honestly, although I’d like to say that I’d do something extraordinary to save the world or something, I’d probably buy a big horse farm and rescue as many horses from slaughter and abuse as I could. I’d probably also try to establish some scholarships for students here at Miami Middletown.

Thank you so much for being part of this celebration: you are fabulous!


Moira Casey said...

Kate, I just read this, after googling myself. I really enjoy my answers -- one year has passed, and I think I would answer everything almost exactly the same!

C. Margery Kempe said...

LOL! That's wonderful to hear. So I guess I can't persuade you to write another, hee hee.