Sunrise: First thing tomorrow morning. To be repeated daily until further notice.

2015 All-Bearcat Picnic:
The date is set for the seventh annual picnic. Join us on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at the PERA Club in Tempe. The picnic is meant for all RHS classes, their families, and the faculty and staff. Bring your own food, drink, and name tags, but no booze!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Carol Dierking Burlinson Tells Her Story

I moved from California to Arizona in fifth grade, when my divorced mother died and my dad was given custody. When I transferred from Hayden to Ray in 1965, sophomore year, I missed the first day of school. The next morning, first thing, I blew a pop quiz in Mr. Taft's class. I was mortified. I was a Smart Kid, I didn't flunk tests. Taft told me, "you'll be okay." I was inwardly focused, reserved, quiet, hard to get to know, but he encouraged me. I liked him a lot.

After high school I earned a BA in anthropology and a Master of Library Science from the University of Arizona, married in '74, and in '75 moved to College Station, Texas, for my husband's job at A&M. Two years later we moved to Austin and we've been here ever since. I worked 14 years at university libraries and the Texas State Library; some of these jobs I liked, but others? They were just for the money. Contrary to image, most librarians are people oriented, but me - I was an introvert in a social profession. Then in 1989 I got my dream job in the research library of Radian International, an environmental engineering firm. That was my "bliss" work experience - challenging, absorbing, and most important, I believed in what I was doing. When it ended in a buyout in '99, I began working part time for the school system, subbing in school libraries. It's worthwhile also, but I'm winding it down now.

We never wanted kids. Then, in our thirties, we decided we'd go for it after all. That's how, in 1985, we came to adopt a four-month-old son from Korea, Jake. Do I even need to say he's been the light of our lives? He's 24 now, currently at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, training to be a medevac pilot. When he finishes that, he'll be joining the Texas Department of Public Safety and flying for the Texas National Guard. He says he wants a family of his own someday, but he's too busy right now. So I hope grandkids are in the future. That's what you get for putting off parenthood :)

Over the years my hobbies have been reading (of course!), ballet, voice, and guitar. I once took acting and auditioned for a bit part as a killer in a low budget film noir, but that was the end of my movie career. Nowadays, I've given up ballet and guitar due to injuries, but as an amateur mystery writer, I spend a lot of time thinking up ways to murder people.

I've been a lifelong learner and in addition to writing I read mysteries, fantasy, humor, and nonfiction such as history, religion, politics, and the natural sciences. I do some yoga, a little gardening, birdwatching, collect perfume, and enjoy going out with friends. Unlike me, my husband of 35 years has not slowed down much. His job with the state health department is as demanding as ever, but if we're lucky, we get away for the occasional day or weekend trip. Austin is a unique city for Texas, and while the "Keep Austin Weird" bumper stickers are probably wishful thinking, it's still weird enough for me. I love this town.

Dumbest thing I ever did? Not selling when the Dow was at 14,000. Smartest thing? Hooking up with my two fellas - marrying John and adopting Jake.

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