About Karin Gallagher
Ron and I lived in Darmstadt, Germany for two years, from September 1997 to September 1999. I worked as a technical writing instructor for a software company in Frankfurt. Ron found a research job at the Technical University of Darmstadt. In trying to show the world that social rejects like us can have it all, I contacted Kiplinger's Magazine to write about us. Our old Seattle contracting agency, Sakson & Taylor, wrote about us too.
Germany is mostly like the United States although there are a lot more rules, the bread is better, and people stand in line for a long time. Darmstadt was a nice place to live, just the right size but kind of boring, though you wouldn't think so from our 1999 Christmas letter.
In the summer of 1999 we bought an '86 VW camper for our romp around Europe. However, it is a VW so we did have to buy new linkages, a battery, and a gas tank. We avoided the worst of winter by freezing in Italy and cuddling up with my hot water bottle, Herbie. We didn't have an itinerary because Ron grew up in a family that loves itineraries and I grew up in a family that loves change. We bought books in Britain, skiied in Austria, rockclimbed and researched geneology in France, and wrote as much as possible on our laptops in between. We finally sold the car and went back to California in June 2000 so that we could adopt a kid.
I found a technical writing job in October 2000 at Borland, which was only six miles from home and was my first serious job as an employee. During that time, through deep pockets (ours) and cutting edge IVF technology (Zouves Fertility Center), after nearly four years, we have two biological kids, Madeleine Lee Bourret and Quinlan Brewster Bourret. Health insurance paid for Quinn. Ron is working on his XML stuff at home for free (send him money or books) while watching squirrels and our kids (he's really good at this). I was laid off from Borland in December 2003, so I've been working on a couple of technical writing projects at home and looking for full-time work, to support Ron's squirrel-watching habits.
Writing Technical Documentation in English. I developed and taught this technical writing course to teach German programmers how to write their documentation in English.
Business Writing in English was an adaptation of Part 1 to help program managers improve their written English.
Works in progress:
Our life in Germany
Living in the VW
Travel and other nonfiction articles
Actually, these works are not in progress, because I don't have any time.
Traveling. I get around. I've been to over 50 countries, though some don't really count as this includes stops of 3 hours or less.
Playing soccer. Whoever says that women aren't aggressive enough ought to count how many yellow cards I get in a ten-week season.
Climbing. I don't have the build for this, but I've finally got the hang of leading, which includes a lot of heavy breathing and swearing.
Eating desserts. There's a reason I have the thighs I do. I love chocolate chip cookie dough the most.
Reading. If I had to be stuck anywhere overnight, it would be in a library.