Monica Isaac of Austin, Texas Monica's email    Last update: 22 October 2016

Growing up in Tallahassee
College in North Carolina
Marrying Toby
A new life in Texas
Monica attended Temple Israel Preschool, where she met Michelle, her BFF. Then came Apalachee Elementary, and (when we moved to another part of town) Sealey Elementary. At both schools, the Gifted program was the best part of school, and she also took piano lessons at the Yamaha school taught by Mrs. Whitaker, in which her Oma also participated, especially in the early years.

She moved on to Raa Middle School, where she learned to play the flute. At Leon High School, she played the flute in the marching band and the bassoon in the off-season. Then the band director picked her to be the drum major, and she spent some intense years learning conducting and leadership while keeping up her studies. She graduated with high honors and made many friends...including a transfer student from Arizona, Toby.
It was time for Monica to leave home, and she went all the way to North Carolina, choosing UNC for its high energy level and multitude of things to study and do. She majored in Music so she could take some music classes she wanted, and always enjoyed playing in concerts & musicals. She graduated "With Highest Distinction"with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music.

All four years, she kept in touch with Toby via phone calls, email, and occasional visits from Toby and trips to Houston, where Toby was enrolled at Rice University. During their junior year, they managed to take a semester abroad in Vienna at the same time. They lived in different parts of Vienna, but still were closer together than when they were in Houston and Chapel Hill. We visited them in Vienna for a week too. While in Vienna, Monica volunteered at a Montessori school.

Monica graduated "With Highest Distinction" in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in music.
After almost four years of a long-distance relationship, they'd had enough of that. Just before Christmas, 2006, Toby proposed and Monica accepted. They planned the wedding during their last semester apart, and on July 26 they were married in Tallahassee.

It was not a large wedding, but we still had friends of Monica's from North Carolina, friends of Toby from Texas and Arizona, and friends of both from Tallahassee. There also were relatives from a variety of places, including cousins from Maryland, New York, and Germany.

Toby's parents, Mark and Sue, live here in Tallahassee, so Monica and Toby have made regular return visits here. Of course we visit them, too, whenever we can.

Elgar (short for Edward Elgar) joined them soon after their arrival. He is a rescue dog who brings a lot of fun to the family. I see a squirrel!

Toby had a variety of good possibilities for graduate school. He chose the University of Texas in Austin, where he majored in applied math in the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences. His dissertation involved improving the computational efficiency of mathematical models of ice sheet flow, an important topic in a world in which glaciers are melting. He's continuing his research during a post-doctoral appointment, working in Austin and Houston.

Monica intended to take a year off from school and then study music education at the University of Texas, and meanwhile took a job assisting with a toddler class at a Montessori School, building on her experience with the Montessori school in Vienna. She fell in love with the kids and the Montessori way, and decided to focus on it. She's now certified to be a lead Montessori instructor for toddlers aged 1 1/2 to 3 at Mariposa Montessori.

The Isaac family has expanded to include Benji and Penelope, who deserve and have their own web pages

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