My full name is Betty Ruth Estes;
I answer to Betty, Betty Ruth, and B.R. I grew up in Oklahoma as the youngest of eight children in a family with lots of love and no money. The Oklahoma populist back-ground hangs on, somehow, even though I seem to have lost my accent and have spent much of my adult life on the East Coast.
As a college freshman I expected to find Truth by stud-ying mathematics. It didn't happen. After several years of studying math (B.S., University of Oklahoma; M.A., University of Pennsylvania; computer work with the Burroughs Corporation in Paoli, Pa.), I had found much beauty in it but wasn't happy with its isolation from human concerns. The study of the history of science and math seemed to provide a good compromise between the technical and the humane, and so I returned to graduate school in Oklahoma to study the history of science. I have since found myself becoming more interested in the general history of ideas and their impact on the lives of people, and less interested in the technical aspects of science and math. And my concern with learning and with people seemed to lead naturally to a concern with good teaching--which, of course, makes me no different from everyone else at Evergreen.
One of my great
pleasures since coming to Olympia has been my home on Eld Inlet.
The ability to spend time alone there, looking out at the water and the
birds, is important to me. After six years in an apartment in suburban
New Jersey, it's hard to believe that I've seen about sixty different species
of birds, a seal, chipmunks, a squirrel--all this just by looking out my
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