Michelle has always been a fan of realistic fiction and continuously finds herself in awe of the undeniable power of language. You know when you read that paragraph or sentence that causes you to stop and breath? Or that collection of words that takes you back to your grandma's living room, sitting on an old brown and white pleated couch, wrapped up in Grandma's quilt, and while you don't remember what you were doing on that couch, it doesn't matter? The words have brought you back to a specific moment and you acknowledge there is power in that.
Michelle first noticed the phenomenon as a young child in Spencer, Ohio when she was subject to meeting a few of her father's employees who did not know how to read. She fondly remembers these kind men asking her, a young child, to read warning labels and automobile pamphlets out loud and how important that made her feel. Looking back, she remembers the look in their eyes not as one of envy, but as one of astonishment. She noticed the phenomenon a second time when she was in junior high school and found herself with a gift of words. She had the ability to write a clear sentence that held her voice within the letters. This was around the time when she was introduced to James Hurst's "The Scarlett Ibis" and found herself crying uncontrollably for Doodle. They weren't simply tears, they were an emotion. A connection brought about through the author's words.
Most recently, though, Michelle has acknowledged the phenomenon in her Phoenix, Arizona classrooms. She places a strong focus on getting to know her students and teaching them how to place their own individual voice on the page. She works with students who have found themselves in a corner and are trying their hardest to reinvent. Michelle finds the ultimate power of language to be its ability to help these students re-enter the world and claim a new place within it. . Language is a belief just as much as it is a skill.
"Waves" examines a time in Michelle's life when she had no idea what else the world had to hold. It examines what is going on in the "inside" during the madness of the outside. Michelle hopes that it leaves you with a sense of hope, but she will be happy and feel accomplished if it leaves you with a sense of anything at all.
Michelle wants to thank all of her friends and customers back at the restaurant in Lakewood, Ohio. Today, three years later, that world feels like a lifetime ago. She learned a lot of about herself and the person she wanted to become those few years taking orders and running food. She also wants to thank her fiancé, Brian, who joined her at a later time in her life but reminds her everyday why the struggle of leaving the service industry and entering the world of academia has been worth it. She is looking very forward to seeing how language will play in the next stage of her journey: New York City!