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Gail Weinhold
I live just north of Golden Valley in the city of Crystal and I have raised my kids in the Robbinsdale School District system and taught in the Hopkins District for the past nine years.  I currently have a daughter at Cooper High School a son at Robbinsdale Middle School. 
I know how it feels to work a full day, run the mom taxi all over town, try to keep the house (or at least the front doorway) presentable and still want to feel like a woman when the wardrobe consists mostly of what is hopefully slimming black and Spanx.  I come to Patch with plenty of real-world experience as a mom and as a teacher, along with the support of my incredible family of six (including the dog). I want to give you the news and stories that fit your world right here in Golden Valley and give you some tips on how to make that world more manageable. Growing up “north of the river”  in northern Minnesota meant living north of the Mississippi.  And to a teenage girl, that meant north of civilization! My family lived ten miles from town with no TV.  “The web” meant something that grew in the corners, and to pass time I'd sing into a hairbrush if the radio played anything other than country music. But if there's one thing all of those hours gave me, it was time to read.  I escaped into the pages with the ever-so-popular girls of Sweet Valley High, dreamed of climbing through the Narnia wardrobe and solved mysteries with my friend, Nancy Drew.  The time snuggled in front of the heat register (farmhouses are forever freezing) gave me a love for adventure, a hunger to explore and a passion for the best stories.  I may not have had the same suburban life my kids have now, but I know I wouldn’t be writer if I hadn’t spent those years engulfed in words. After writing for my local newspaper all through high school, I did what many small town girls dream of and escaped for what I thought was the big time.  I began as a journalism major at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., and I thought I’d jet set around the world fighting injustice and exposing evil as a reporter (insert flowing cape and techno music here).  I quickly learned that life has a way of happening whether we plan it or not.  With the birth of my beautiful baby girl I had to sit down and get real.  I was a mom and the 24/7 lifestyle of an investigative reporter didn’t work with a diaper bag and a carseat. My husband and I moved to the Twin Cities and I soon went back to college at the University of Minnesota for an English degree.  What does one do with an English degree?  Good question.  Sure, I could write the next great American novel, but unless Ed McMahon finally came through with his million dollar promise, that didn’t look likely to pay the bills.  I decided to take my love of words and my desire to make a difference into the classroom.  Goodness gracious, I was back in junior high!  That’s right, for the last 12 years I’ve been teaching teenagers.  I have a Masters degree in education from the University of St. Thomas and I specialize in gifted education for those kids that really need a challenge.  Each day I encounter everything from Shakespeare to Shabangin’ and hallways that have that peculiar odorous mix of boys after phy ed class and Axe body spray.  Yet nothing has been more rewarding than working with my students.  Year after year something beyond words happens (and I’m rarely beyond words).  I may have taught them what I know, but they have taught me who I am and who I can truly be. And now my life is again taking an adventurous turn.  I am returning to my heat register daydreams of writing and reporting, and I'm excited to learn what this community has to teach me. So tell me what’s on your mind!  What really drives you and what stories do you want told? Because on this little patch of the web, I’m listening.
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