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20 Questions with Christie Koontz


  1. What was your first job?
    My first job was at a public library in Jacksonville, FL near my school. My father had lost his job, and as the youngest I wanted to help. So I walked into the library the summer after the ninth grade (fudged about my age) and worked through twelfth grade summer for a $1 an hour!! My parents had no idea I was working for the first five months, as I only went for a couple of hours after school. I had an interest in journalism and wrote a column in high school in grades 9-12. But I had not a clue the library profession was in my future! The communications and information fields have blended well for me and hopefully for others in my area of influence.
  2. If you were to write a personal memoir, what would you name it? 
    “Burn All the Candles” – I have actually thought of this for quite a few years… I wrote for the local paper for quite a few years and have some really good columns – I think!
  3. Where did you grow up?
    I grew up in Jacksonville – from age 7. Many of my childhood friends live in Tallahassee—and I am so lucky to have them in my life for such a long time
  4. What is your favorite class you’ve taught?  
    For sure the storytelling course, offered now for 8 years – it surprised me that I was asked to develop it, and that it is such a treasure to me and those who participate
  5. What is your favorite place to grab dinner in Tallahassee?
    Currently BJ’s Brewhouse on the corner of Blairstone and the Parkway! What a great menu, healthy options, and great prices
  6. What are your hobbies outside of work? 
    I love to “run” – now at my stage of life I call it slogging (slow jogging).
  7. Have you always wanted to teach? 
    I initially taught Chinese cooking lessons in 1978 when I first moved to Tally from San Francisco where I had been working I had spent time with a Chinese friend who was a great eater—and he would coach me on flavors. I had the Chinese language professor in Diffenbaugh draw the characters. So it was quite a leap to 1996 when Don Latham asked me to teach here at the school – I was scared to death. But, now I love it and am devoted to all aspects of being a great teacher.
  8. What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to or where would you like to go?
    My favorite place for beauty would be Norway – breathtaking and pure. I also love trips to Africa for its rugged natural beauty, the strong vibrant people, and the wake-up call received on how much we have in America and underscoring the need to give back. I would very much like to go to India – and then I will rock on my porch!
  9. How many football games have you attended? 
    Dozens!! Have grown to love it due to my husband Rick’s devotion to FSU Seminoles – a TRUE fan!
  10. Proudest career/life moment?  
    Receiving Faculty of the Year by student vote in 2008 – I still remember the absolute joy that descended upon me!
  11. What’s your favorite band? 
    Hands down – for now and always – the Rolling Stones. I would like to dance on stage with Mick, or second choice Tina Turner, backed up by the Rolling Stones
  12. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 
    “Be yourself, everybody else is taken” – Oscar Wilde.
  13. If money were no object, how would you spend your days? 
    Writing checks to worthy organizations including public libraries; care organizations for the vulnerable and needy; and of course the School.
  14. What is your favorite book and why? 
    My favorite book from childhood is Half Magic by Edward Eager. My sister and I read it over and over and acted out the parts of the children who stumble upon magic coins, etc. We were together at home “alone” while our mother worked and were very inventive with our time – books were our salvation.
    My favorite book from adulthood is currently Kristin Lavransdatter, a trilogy of historical novels written by Nobel laureate Sigrid Undset. Awesome look into a woman’s life over time – I highly recommend it for a summer-read.
  15. If you could be famous for something, what would it be? 
    For being a kind and giving person to as many people as possible throughout my life.
  16. What Jeopardy category could you clear, no problem?
    I honestly do not know! I doubt any of them – as I am a generalist who dabbles!
  17. Do you have any pets? 
    Yikes, no. Too many allergies – sorry everyone! I have kept all my toys since childhood if that counts – they are in tip top condition!
  18. When did you start working at Florida State University? 
    December 20, 1990.
  19. What was the last movie you saw in theaters?
    I believe, The Piano. But, I do enjoy many movies at home in front of the fireplace. I really love action thrillers, believe it or not!
  20. What is the best part about your job? 
    Absolutely hands-down, no equivocation – the students I have known and worked with. The enrichment and joy these relationships have brought are the highlight of my professional and often personal life. I thank you, CCI, for this!

’20 Questions with CCI’ brings faculty and staff from the College of Communication & Information into a new light. Learn more about your favorite professors – their hobbies, interests and more .

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