1. Please tell us about you!
Hi! I'm Neva. I'm a 31 year old female living in Conover, North Carolina. I live about an hour north of Charlotte and an hour west of Winston-Salem, 2 bigger cities in North Carolina. I am originally from Maryland, outside of the US's capital, Washington DC. I lived there for 30 years.
Currently, I am an elementary school teacher. I substituted for 6 years before finishing my Masters in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University. I have been teaching for 3 years now, the last two in first grade. I absolutely love it and don't know if there's any other job that I would like to do!
I grew up around dogs, but last month I purchased my first kitten, Daisy. She is a gray tabby with a white belly and boots. She is so adorable, and I love her to death!
I have a boyfriend named Carl. We have been together for over a year and are looking forward to what the future holds for us!
As far as things I like to do, I enjoy reading, writing letters, hanging out with friends, watching movies, shooting pool, cooking, baking, playing miniature golf, playing board/card games, taking walks/hikes, learning new things, watching sports (especially American football), working with children, shopping, painting pottery, watching plays/musicals, taking photos and much more!
2. Describe your personality in 10 words!
Not an easy question to answer, but I will try my best... I am a shy person when getting to meet new people, but once I am around you for a little while, I'll open up! I'm honest and not really one for stretching the truth. I'm very loyal. Once I'm your friend, I'll stand by you through the thick and the thin. I can be stubborn at times - I have the license plate "Princess" on my car. :) I'm open-minded and will listen to other viewpoints than my own even if I'm not sure that I agree with them. I'm genuine. I do nice things for people because I want to do them, no ulterior motive. I can be a perfectionist when it comes to certain things - like making games for my classroom. I want it to be the best! I'm timely, meaning that I am usually on time whenever I go places. I've got red hair, so I've been known to be quick-tempered at times. Finally, I'm kind. I try to treat others the way I would like to be treated.
3. How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!
I have been penpalling for about 19 years. First, I wrote letters with my cousin in Florida. She was never very consistent, so I began looking in teen magazines for penpals. My first pen pal was named Stacey. She has red hair like me. While we haven't written in a while, we still have contact through MySpace.
4. How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?
Right now, I only have about a handful of penpals. I have penpals in the US (Texas, Florida, West Virginia, Wisconsin, New Jersey), Australia, The Netherlands, and Indonesia. I'd like to have 10-15 regular pals. :)
Penpal letters my students sent to my cousin's class in Georgia - passing down the tradition to the younger generation!
5. What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?
I'm not sure that I have a favorite topic to discuss in letters. I like to talk about anything and everything that is going on in my life. Sometimes, it is a good place for me to vent and try to figure out things in my head. I also like to ask lots of questions of my pals because I want to get to know them better.
6. What are you looking for in a penpal?
As for things that I look for in a penpal, I want someone who has some similar interests as me, is around the same age, writes medium-long to long letters, is honest, loyal, and really looking forward to being friends. I want letters to be interactions with each other, not like reading someone's diary.
7. What do you like the most about penpalling?
As I mentioned earlier, I like to ask pen pals lots of questions. One of my favorite things about penpalling is the opportunity to get to know another person better on a personal level. You get to learn about them socially, emotionally, culturally, etc. There is a wealth of knowledge out there just waiting to be tapped into.
8. In what language(s) do you correspond?
I can only correspond in English. I took 4 years of Spanish in high school, but that was a long time ago!
9. What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?
I'm usually sitting on my futon in my living room when I am responding to letters. I almost always write/type my letters on some sort of stationery. Over the years, I've bought tons and probably have at least 5 bins filled with stationery! I love everything from Hello Kitty/Sanrio to Morning Glory to Diddl to Forever Friends, etc.
I write back as quickly as I can, more often in the summer because I am not teaching. If I need to, I will keep in contact through email if for some reason I can't write for a long time. I like to keep my pen pals updated on what's going on in my life.
I like to keep each of my pals' letters in a folder so that I am able to look back at their letters from time to time. It's a great thing to do especially when you've been writing to someone for quite some time.
10. Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you've been penpalling?
I remember when I was 15, I had a penpal named Ryan in England. He was turning 18, and he offered for me to stay at his house as I was invited to celebrate his birthday. Unfortunately, my parents didn't go for that, and our friendship fizzled out. It was awesome to hear an English accent on the phone though!
11. Have you met any of your penpals?
Yes, I have met some of my penpals. Here's a picture in front of the Hard Rock Cafe in Washington DC when I met my pal Jess. We've known each other for about nine years now. We had a terrific time together!
I have also met one of my close friends, Beth. We have been friends for about 8 years. Originally, she moved to Maryland for a job, and we were only about an hour apart. I have not seen her since I moved to North Carolina, but she is coming to visit in August.
12. Are you currently looking for more penpals?
Yes, I am currently looking for a few more female long letter pals around my age. If you are interested in writing, please contact me at email@example.com. Thanks!
Thank you Neva for sharing these stories with us!
If you'd like to be featured on my blog as the Penpal of the Week, just leave a comment with your email address!