I’m a Benedictine sister, a member of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. I came to the monastery nearly 15 years ago, and have lived here ever since. In addition to our regular rhythm of prayer and work, I serve as the monastery’s Director of Oblates (lay women and men who apply the Rule of St Benedict to their every day lives), and as a Councilor with the Federation of St. Benedict.
Most of my time goes to teaching sociology: of families, health and illness, religion, social issues and social change, the death penalty, conspicuous consumption, the environment. I am enthusiastic about statistics (yes, I inherited a nerdy streak from my father), and teach it every semester. I sometimes have the privilege of teaching students in our Honors Program. I’m spending all of Fall 2013 developing new courses to teach statistics through graphic design — beginning with infographics. I’m looking forward to it.
Being a Benedictine and a sociologist is a wonderful combination. Sociology gives me tools for observing the modern world as it actually is — warts and wonders — and concepts for understanding how it changes. My faith and the monastic tradition give me hope and vision for a better world, and guidance in what I can do to help bring it into being.
In my pre-monastery life, I was a statistical and research consultant, a teacher of English and American historical dance (aka country dance), a graduate student, and an oncology social worker. I held leadership roles in small non-profit traditional music and dance organizations, and at my student parish.
Hobbies. I have always been an avid reader and, since the first day I heard it in 1971, a National Public Radio fan – probably because of I’m just as “full of ‘satiable curiosity” as the Elephant’s Child in my favorite Rudyard Kipling children’s story.
In the last few years, I’ve taken up a few new hobbies: digital photography, graphic design, the open data movement, data visualization – and blogging.
Blogging. I started the first edition of Monastic Musings in 2004 after hearing two friends discuss blogging. When Google summarily closed my first blog because of a malware infestation, I mourned for one day – and decided to start again. I write about whatever interests me. In May of 2013, my posting on statistical and research topics moved to DataTalks while all the rest remain here.
I hope you enjoy your visit to Monastic Musings Too.