Karen Robertson

Elbert Covell College is often on my mind.  I’m very lucky to have had the opportunity of spending four years there and meeting so many remarkable people.  For a girl from a small town in Colorado, the experience was extraordinary.
After I graduated, I married Gustavo Wilson (Covell ’72).  We stayed in Stockton for a few years – just working to pay the bills.  We moved to Nicaragua in 1975 and I spent 3½ years teaching EFL at La Universidad Centroamericana.  Those were wonderful years in so many ways, but as the war se acercó a Managua, the stress became overwhelming.  I decided to leave with my three little children para un descanso and to visit my father who had moved to Oregon.  We left Managua on the same day that La Frente Sandinista entered Managua.  Gustavo stayed for another year.  What with trying to raise my family in difficult circumstances, (including our divorce) I never returned to Nicaragua.  I worked for the U.S. Government for 16 years; then quit to go back to school.  I studied Anthropology and Applied Linguistics, and earned a TESL certificate.  In 2003, I got a Masters in Adult Education.  While at Covell, I never intended to become a teacher.  But, because of my degree from Covell, I was able to teach in Nicaragua and that experience convinced me that teaching could be joyful and fulfilling.  Twenty-five years after leaving Covell, I finally found my vocation.  I’ve been teaching ESOL at Portland Community College for 13 years.  I work with adult immigrants – mostly Spanish-speaking.  My one regret about my time at Covell is that I didn’t get better advising to steer me toward a more appropriate major.
I share my home with two geriatric dogs and an annoying (but well-loved) cat!  My three children grew up to be wonderful, accomplished people, and I have three gorgeous granddaughters.  My children and their families all live nearby, so I’m blessed to be able to spend time with them frequently.  I won’t be able to come to the reunion.  We are just starting Summer Term and I can’t afford to take unpaid leave.  Maybe I will be retired by the next reunion.
¡Cariño y abrazos a todos, compañeros de clase y profesores!

Karen Robertson
Class of '71