I've been tagged by my friend Miriam Salpeter at Keppie Careers, who has dared me to share SEVEN FACTS. (To learn more about Miriam, read her post 7 Maybe Not So Weird Facts about Me

This is a viral trail, apparently started by Chris Russell at Secrets of a Job Hunt. So here goes. Photo_032208_015(I'm joined by my twin nieces.)

1. I spent most of my childhood in Columbia, South Carolina in a house without air conditioning. It was very hot, and I became so lazy at times that I joked with friends about taking a shortcut to the den in our house where there was a window unit.  My stepdad was an engineer, and devised a complicated airflow management system to keep the house cool which meant leaving all the doors open, including that of my bedroom. As a teenager, I refused to have my door open all the time and vowed to move to a very cold place.

I made good on this promise (did I mention that I can be stubborn?) and spent five years in New Hampshire--in a house that had no need of air conditioning but occasionally had uninvited wildlife. I have stories on midnight visitors, most of which make me laugh today.

2. My first job after college was working for rocket scientists. I answered a blind ad for an editorial assistant in the Washington Post, and was hired by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a professional association of aerospace engineers. My job was to copyedit manuscripts on space medicine, tactical missile warheads, and other technical white papers I did not understand. After eight months and a gentle reminder from my supervisor that attitude and altitude were not the same, I moved to another department where my job was to work with event planning and professional development for members. This was much more fun: my first business trip involved setting up lecture arrangements for Gene "Failure is Not an Option" Kranz, Mission Control Director for Apollo 13.

I learned that engineers had the same career needs as English majors like me (they, too, wanted to know how to grow their careers). I liked helping them, so I went to grad school and got a Master's degree in Counseling.

3. I have a "reverse" Achilles heel--it's the toughest part of me. As an infant, I received transfusions in my right heel and the scar tissue could take a bullet. It's pedicure-resistant and I've learned to appreciate it over time.

4. My family has a penchant for unusual names--mine comes from an ancestor who was a "Quaker" clock maker.

For many years, my family shared space with a beloved cat named Salmonella (my dad, a "germ expert," told my sister--then 9--she could bring a kitten home from summer camp if he could name it). After learning the translation of this "beautiful name," my sister shortened it to "Sally." My unrepentant dad named her kittens "Bacillus" and "Toxoplasmosis."

5. I am a "Rhodes Scholar." Well, sort of...I went to Rhodes College in Memphis and wore a gown to graduate. Does that count?

6. Several years ago, I developed a fear of flying which I got over by touring a Boeing factory and seeing the assembly line for 737's. (At the time, I was working at Dartmouth College's Engineering School, and an alum was kind enough to give me a tour and an overview of her work there.) I developed an appreciation of system redundancies in aircraft, and decided that the test pilot's job was scarier than my position as a routine passenger!

7. I am compulsive about spelling and grammar, but sometimes can't do it in public. I was recently eliminated in the third round of a spelling bee, and can't pronounce the word "herbs." (In an early internship, I caught a Reader's Digest worthy typo before it went to press: "Hands on Herb," a lecture by the D.C. Women's Garden Club. I laughed, corrected it, and have never been able to say "herbs" since.)

I have a hard time ordering a dish in a restaurant if there's a typo in the description. I've also fantasized about starting a proofreading business for restaurants. Perhaps this is why I enjoy working with resumes?

I generally follow rules, so here are Miriam's instructions. Here are blogs I think you should check out, and their authors who I challenge to share seven things:

Jason Alba, Jibber Jobber

Paul Copcutt, Square Peg Solution

A. Fashionista, Diary of a Label Lover

Lauren Hasson, The Resume Girl

Alexandra Leavit, Water Cooler Wisdom

Dan Schawbel, Personal Branding

Phyllis Zimbler Miller, Flipping Burgers and Beyond

for my fellow bloggers:

• Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.

• Share seven facts about yourself in the post - some random, some weird.

• Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.

• Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

Now that you know a bit more about me, feel free to touch base. How can I help you propel your career?