Skinny Dip with Nancy Peterson

Nan­cy Peterson

We inter­viewed Nan­cy Peter­son, EdD, pro­fes­sor of ele­men­tary edu­ca­tion at Utah Val­ley Uni­ver­si­ty and co-chair of UVU’s annu­al Forum on Engaged Read­ing “For the Love of Read­ing” con­fer­ence and retreat. 

Which celebrity, living or not, do you wish would invite you to a coffee shop?

I recently learned that Patrick Henry (Revolutionary War Patriot) is one of my ancestors. I’d love to talk heart to heart with him about what I have read concerning his personal trials. For instance, I believe his first wife suffered from a mental illness, and that he remained loyal and responsible for her until she died.  I’d really like to know how he coped, dealt with it, etc.

Gift from the SeaWhich book do you find yourself recommending passionately?

Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I re-read it every so often… finding different gems for the first time, depending on my life’s circumstances.  I love that book… love that woman!

What’s your favorite late-night snack?

I can’t even think about it….   Today is my 188th day of no sugar, no flour, and no snacking.  When I crave “that thing,” I just have go to bed!

Providence, Rhode IslandFavorite city to visit?

Providence, Rhode Island, in the fall. I’ve only been there once, but I was enamored with it, and want to see it again!

Illustrator’s work you most admire?

I really want to answer this, but I have to share three: Steve Jenkins, and his exquisitely detailed cut paper work that almost redefines realism, in my mind! Marla Frazee, whose illustrations are dripping with unique personality and “voice.” And finally, Jon J Muth. Some words I have borrowed to express how I feel about his watercolor and pastel illustrations are “magical,” “haunting,” “charming,” “majestic,” and “cozy.” All I can say is that I can’t get enough of them.

Tea? Coffee? Milk? Soda? What’s your favorite go-to drink?

Shasta diet root beer… I just love that stuff!

Favorite season of the year?

Autumn (not “fall” – autumn) Why? Evening walks in the crisp, damp air, the vivid colors of gold, orange and scarlet leaves, and the aromas coming from the chimneys of the first houses on the block to light their fireplaces.

What’s your dream vacation?

I would love to take the train from Washington, DC, to Harper’s Ferry, stay in a bed & breakfast inn, and walk and wander around for 2 or 3 days sight-seeing the historical landmarks and museums and shopping in the historic village and quaint shops – in autumn, of course!

What gives you shivers?

Snakes and mice.

Morning person? Night person?


What’s your hidden talent?

I am an amazing grandma! For my talent of “grandmothering” I have the hair, the rocker, the storybooks, the sewing machine and the most beautiful two and four year old grandchildren ever to walk this earth!

Your favorite candy as a kid …

M&Ms – always and forever! Have you tried the Mega M&Ms?

Brother and sisters or an only child?

I’m the oldest of five girls.

How did that shape your life?

I’m headstrong, opinionated, stubborn, and always But I’m also a pleaser; I can hold my tongue when I want to, and I usually go overboard in trying to make a good impression.

Best tip for living a contented life?

Taking time to be alone and find joy. Anne Morrow Lindbergh says women need to take a minute of every hour, an hour of every day, a day of every week, and a month of every year (or something like that) for themselves. I don’t have a regular schedule for it, but I know when I’m needing it, and I go to great lengths to get it.

Your hope for the world?

For every human being to receive and give kindness more than feeling and inflicting pain.

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Lanette Ehresman
Lanette Ehresman
7 years ago

Glad to call you my friend. In lots of ways, we con­tin­ue to be ‘kin­dred spirits!’

Julie McVicker
Julie McVicker
7 years ago

What an inspi­ra­tion you are to do many! I always learn some­thing from our conversations.

Kim Davis
7 years ago

Loved read­ing about my friend! Excel­lent job Nancy!

Candice Brown
Candice Brown
7 years ago

And, Nan­cy makes awe­some cin­na­mon rolls!

7 years ago

Loved read­ing this! Love this lady!

Jill Shumway
Jill Shumway
7 years ago

I love this! You bring joy and hap­pi­ness to all around you. So glad to be friends

7 years ago

What a won­der­ful hon­or for a tru­ly love­ly, smart, ded­i­cat­ed woman who is tal­ent­ed in so many ways. So hap­py to call you my life­long friend. I’m so proud of your ded­i­ca­tion to your new lifestyle, too. You’re win­ning, girl­friend, and I appre­ci­ate how chal­leng­ing the bat­tle is. Love you!

7 years ago

Nan­cy is one of the best teach­ers in the Edu­ca­tion pro­gram at UVU!! I enjoyed being in her class­es. She tru­ly LOVES books & she helped us, as stu­dents learn­ing to become teach­ers, to be engaged in the sto­ries. Thanks Nancy!!