With ELAINE CHAPIN FERGUSON
When I was a kid, I wanted to be ... an airline pilot because I thought it would be fun to fly all around the world.
What would you rather be doing right now? Sitting on a beach in Hawaii.
Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone that ... I'm afraid of heights and deep water, and I detest spiders, snakes and rats.
Other than your wedding day and/or the birth of your children, what was your proudest moment? June 25, 2017, when I had the honor of testifying in defense of teacher pensions in front of the Illinois House of Representatives.
It really stinks when ... I hear people say "I would never put my mother in a nursing home." The day my siblings and I took our mother to the nursing home was the hardest day of our lives.
What word in the dictionary would your face be next to? Grammar Police.
I always laugh when ... my sisters and brothers and I all get together. We don't do anything special -- we just spend the day together, enjoy lunch, visit, reminisce and laugh!
Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? My mom, my dad and my husband's mom. I would love to have dinner with my mom and dad one more time. I'd like to hear my mom's sweet Georgia accent as she scolds and laughs at my dad's silly, ridiculous stories. And I'd love to hear my dad tell yet another outlandish, unbelievable yarn. And since my husband's mom passed long before I met Tom, I didn't get the privilege of meeting her. But I know she must have been an amazing lady because my husband and sister-in-law tell loving stories of her, and I know she raised some pretty great kids.
At the end of a really long day at work, I like to ... sit back with a glass of iced tea and a good book.
People who knew me in high school thought I was ... I have no idea what they thought about me.
My most unforgettable brush with greatness was ... I didn't actually meet them, but I saw and heard President Obama when he came to Quincy. And I saw candidates Clinton and Gore in Burlington when they were running for president and vice president.
I would drop all my plans tonight if I had the chance to ... spend time with family.
If someone gave me a million dollars, there is STILL no way I would ... jump out of a plane.
America should be more concerned about ... climate change because I believe it is an existential threat to our world's survival.
I'm OK if there's ever a national shortage of ... dental floss. I have dental floss in every room of my house, in my purse, in the console of my car.
When I'm on the internet, I always go to ... my emails because I like to check my mail and Facebook because I like to check up on what's going on with my family and friends.
What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? My mom once told me, "Young lady, you do what you HAVE to do in life." She was right. There are many times in my life when I didn't want to do something that I needed to do. I would think of her, and I would hear that gentle sweet Georgia voice speaking those wise words.
When I'm cruising down the road, I'm likely listening to ... silence.
I always get sentimental when ... a former student reaches out to me and lets me know that I made a difference in his/her life.
The older I get, the more I realize ... life is short. Make every day count.
If I had one "do-over," I would ... take a broader variety of humanities classes in college, for example, world religions.
My favorite item of clothing is ... sandals! I don't like shoes.
If I've learned anything at all ... I've learned that my mom was right about everything.
Elaine Chapin Ferguson, 68, is a retired elementary school teacher, who taught at Nauvoo-Colusa for 34 years. She taught mostly kindergarten and first grade, but taught all grades, except fourth, at one time or another. She and her husband, Tom, have two sons and one granddaughter.