1. I lived at Cajon Speedway racetrack until I was four; I used to have Happy Meal picnics in the middle of the track.
2. I can start a campfire with only one match, or at least I used to be able to—it’s been awhile.
3. All of my siblings names start with the letter “N,” and we were born in alphabetical order: Natalie, Nathan, Noland, and Nycole.
4. I constantly try to convince myself that I am overcoming my chocolate and milk allergies, but I still get migraines.
5. I have a handful of “ex-best friends,” and I refer to them as such in conversation.
6. I decided that I didn’t want to teach elementary school two weeks before graduating college
with a Liberal Studies degree and credential.
7. All three of the grandparents I grew up with died within six months of one another.
8. I have never been pulled into “secondary” at any Border Patrol checkpoints, but secretly wish to be.
9. Last check, I was number fourteen from the bottom of my school district’s lay-off list--bottom equals pink slip time.
10. When I was six, I was the Salton Sea Treasure Trails Queen of the Trails.
11. Two days before prom two years ago, I was in the delivery room to support one of my students as she gave birth.
12. I wash my water bottle less than six times a year, but I use it daily.
13. Sometimes, I enjoy hanging out with my students more than people my own age.
14. I used to have horrible allergies. I went through the allergy injection test series when I was younger and received over one hundred shots in two days. Then, I received four shots a week for a few years afterward.
15. In my first car accident, I hit a sheriff in an unmarked car.
16. I am listed in the Who’s Who Among American High School Students for 1998 and Who’s Who Among American College Students in 2002.
17. I have never been in a real fight with anyone besides my siblings.
18. I am told that I look like Hilary Swank at least once a month, but I don’t really see it. It must be the gummy smile.
19. In college, I was laughed at for saying phrases like “in the barn” while talking about home.
20. I have noticed that I am becoming more and more like my high school teachers and the Biggest Loser trainers in my classroom.
21. I was a member of the first Daisy Girl Scout troop in the Chaparral Service Unit and was awarded Leader of the Year for this same service unit twenty years later.
22. My family and I were on the local news when I was eight, as part of a Thanksgiving piece about a local turkey farm.
23. I drove from Lake Morena to Palomar Hospital (76 miles) in forty-five minutes, during the first night of the Witch Fire to meet someone who had smoke inhalation.
24. I rode the bench on my high school volleyball team, but put two league championship banners on the gym wall as a coach at the same school.
25. I held my little sister, Nycole, before my mom did.