In grade school, I was the girl who read on the bus instead of talking to her friends, and who would hide in her parents’ walk-in closet trying to write a novel. In high school, I was the girl who would check out as many library books as she could carry–and who would rather read romance novels than have an actual romance.

In college, I was the girl who had trouble picking a major because she wanted to learn about everything. Except maybe accounting.

The closest I could get to majoring in everything was majoring in philosophy. (Seriously, philosophy is about everything.) So that’s what I did. And it was awesome.

Actually, philosophy (and college in general) was so awesome that I decided to make a career out of it. Even though it wasn’t at all “practical.” And even though my husband had dutifully majored in engineering so that at least one of us could get a decent job, he turned down several good job offers to move to Indiana so I could go to grad school.

So…you’ve probably figured out by now that I’ve always been kind of a nerd. Yeah, I totally embrace that label. (I’m so nerdy that I actually used to fantasize about being imprisoned in a library! The Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame, to be precise–preferably on the 12th or 13th floor. Oh, to have thousands of books and no responsibilities…)

The great thing about being a grown-up is that you–and all your friends–finally realize there’s no shame in being a nerd.

In my grown-up life, I have my dream job: I get paid for talking (and writing) to smart people about interesting and important things–mostly the philosophy and psychology of virtue and character growth. I almost have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not literally dreaming.

My other major dream was to get married and have a bunch of kids, and amazingly, that’s happened for me too. When I’m not teaching, reading, or writing, you can usually find me at home with the family–probably trying to get my kids to do their chores and homework!

Favorite quotes

To claim that one is incapable [of virtue] is to steal from oneself.


It is possible for no man to show envy and gratitude at the same time, for envy goes with complaint and unhappiness, gratitude with rejoicing.


The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.

G. K. Chesterton