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ID: Christa Joy of Easthampton, kindergarten teacher at Hatfield Elementary School

  • CAROL LOLLIS<br/>Christa Joy
  • CAROL LOLLIS<br/>Christa Joy<br/><br/><br/>
  • CAROL LOLLIS<br/>Christa Joy<br/><br/><br/>
  • CAROL LOLLIS<br/>Christa Joy<br/><br/><br/>

Christa Joy grew up in Sheffield, near Great Barrington, and now lives in Easthampton — a town she calls “the best in the world.” She’s a kindergarten teacher who loves her work, and a singer-songwriter and member of the Pioneer Valley Woman Songwriter Collective. She’s in the process of raising funds for her second studio album through an online Kickstarter campaign.

Full name: Christa Joy

Date and place of birth: Nov. 7, 1981, Weymouth

Job: Kindergarten teacher at Hatfield Elementary School

Who lives under the same roof as you? My husband, Jeremy, and my mutt dog, Jack

Children: Not yet!

Education: Master’s degree in education from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2009; bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, in 2003

Hobbies: Songwriting, guitar, reading, crafting and molding young minds

Book you’d recommend to a friend: “Next of Kin” by Roger Fouts

Favorite singer or group: I love a lot of different music and I know everyone says that, but it’s true. Even in the Pioneer Valley Woman Songwriter Collective, there are five completely different genres of music represented and I enjoy each songwriter’s collection of songs

Five items you can’t live without: Teddy Peanut Butter (for my dog), my guitar, my mp3 recorder (to record songs I write in the car), the USPS (I love sending and receiving mail) and Smartwool socks

Last thing you purchased just for fun: Chalkboard-covered containers for my show merchandise, so I can use a chalk marker to write out information and edit things as I grow

What’s at the top of your bucket list? Traveling to Hong Kong to visit a friend

Life-changing experience: Becoming a public school teacher — I love my work

Strangest job you ever held: Well, it isn’t strange, so much as it was out of my skill set when I began — for two summers I worked on a house-painting crew in the Berkshires to raise money for college tuition. I loved that I could see my work at the end of the day — there was something very satisfying about the work

Your current Facebook status: (in regards to my Kickstarter campaign) “39% funded, 54 individual beams of sunshine pouring down over this project. Thank you so much friends and listeners”

A little-known fact about you: I have attached earlobes

Dumbest thing you ever did: Maybe the most self-righteous thing I ever did — demand that my parents drive me to an “X-Files” convention in New York City when I was 16 years old (with a vanload of like-minded adolescents)

One trend you’d like to see return: The high-five

What really sets you off? Entitlement. Aggression

If you could spend the day with a celebrity from any time in history, who would it be? Probably one of my favorite songwriters, like Gillian Welch, Meg Hutchinson or Neko Case

Best advice you ever got: Anxiety is excitement without breath support (this works every time I get on a stage)

Favorite place to get a bite: Riff’s Joint. It’s in my neighborhood and it’s got such a relaxed feeling. They serve consistently delicious comfort food. We also love Apollo Grill, Captain Jack’s Roadside Shack and La Casita Azteca

Favorite team: I’m going to disappoint all my New England family by admitting I just don’t watch sports. I don’t have a TV. But I do enjoy watching baseball with people who are enthusiastic and don’t mind telling me what’s happening

What does your ideal weekend look like? Writing music, playing music, catching up with friends, being outside, taking walks with Jeremy and my dog. Reading. Drinking hot tea. Occasionally dancing

One thing you would change about yourself: Teaching has really helped in relaxing that inner perfectionist — it’s a profession where each day brings opportunities to accept whatever arises and fully embrace other people for who they are — it’s definitely a job that keeps you young at heart

What gives you the creeps? Insects with way too many legs. I lived in a basement apartment once and had some very memorable experiences with centipedes — now I just can’t seem to befriend little critters who wiggle that much

People who knew you in high school thought you were: High-energy, enthusiastic, talkative

Whom do you most admire? I admire teachers. And parents. And children. I suppose I feel this way because I interact with families and educators on a daily basis. It’s extraordinary the amount of commitment, love, patience and genuine care that passes through a school community every day

Parting shot: My mom’s favorite song was Carole King’s “Beautiful.” I think the sentiment is something that she raised me to believe and the words ring true for me — “You’ve got to get up every morning, with a smile on your face, and show the world, all the love in your heart, and people gonna treat you better, you’re gonna find, yes you will, that you’re beautiful, as you feel”

Related

Art People: Christa Joy | singer-songwriter (with audio)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

When Christa Joy was growing up in the Berkshires, a visit to the grandparents meant singing with the family around the piano. “Papa” lent his soaring tenor, honed at the Boston Conservatory of Music, while “Nini” commandeered the piano. “And she’d make us sing ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ about seven times before we left,” Joy says with a laugh. In a conversation … 0

What a charming person! I'd love to have my child in her class. (Good interviewer, too!)

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