Miss Neff

Where were you born and where have you lived?

I was born in Laguna Niguel, California, but moved to Oakhurst, CA when I was five and spent the next thirteen years running around in the woods behind my house, skiing at Badger Pass, and hiking in Yosemite. After high school, I moved to Santa Cruz, CA to attend school and spent six years there before moving back to Oakhurst. I’ve always wanted to live in Colorado where snow and climbing are plentiful, and now I’m doing it! Dreams do come true!

Where did you attend university or college?

I attended the University of California, Santa Cruz. While there, I obtained a B.A. in Art and a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. At UCSC, I was able to assist a PhD student with her research on bats in Baja California Sur for two months, studied bats in Costa Rica for three months, caught mice for research on UCSC’s Natural Reserve, became a print studio monitor and spent many dusk to dawn evenings creating art, and held my own art show at a student gallery my last year at school.

What kind of reading do you most enjoy doing?

I’ll read just about anything! I’m a big fan of dystopian novels, such as 1984 by George Orwell, or generational family stories such as East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I also love a good adventure, so books like White Fang by Jack London have always been a favorite of mine! Any book about human morality, such as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, will always have a special place in my heart as well. 

Being an artist, I’m also a huge fan of graphic novels! Some of my favorites are Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and the Batman New 52 series. I love non-fiction, too, and enjoy reading books about animals, diseases, and famous chefs!

What are the small essentials that make life more comfortable?

A hot cup of tea, a good chapstick, and a well organized planner are definitely my favorite small essentials! 

What are your favorite snacks?

Dried chili mangos, cowboy cookies, bananas, sugar snap peas, those large soft pretzels you get at the mall, bowls of mixed berries, dark chocolate, cereal straight out of the bag, wasabi peas, popsicles...I think I have a snack problem... 

What do you do to unwind?

I like to listen to podcasts while I draw, play my guitar, bake pies or cookies, take my dog, Toasted Marshmallow Fluff, out for a hike or walk, or ride my skateboard around the park after work to unwind. I have a passion for being outside, so most weekends you can find me climbing, camping, snowboarding, skiing, or riding my bike! In addition, I’m a bit concert obsessed and love going to shows! I attend an average of three live shows a month, which amounts to around 36 live shows a year. Can’t stop, won’t stop!

How could a parent volunteer help you most?

Helping me organize art materials for the week would be the best! Assisting me in taking care of all those little things that pile up, such as laminating, copying, stapling, and putting materials back in their rightful place helps more than you know!