Life according to Tammy Goss


Born in Burlington, Vermont, Tammy L. Goss is currently employed as an Assistant Registrar and VA Certifying Official for Johnson State College. She’s a graduate of JSC and a long-time resident of Lamoille County, having lived in Johnson for over 20 years. She has worked at the college for 10 years, beginning in a part-time temporary position. In the spirit of full disclosure, in her student days, she was a web editor for Basement Medicine.

If you were queen for a day, what would be your first decree?

Like world peace? No more wars. I would just like everybody to get along. Everybody just needs to be happy.

What would be the first thing you would do if you knew the world was ending tomorrow?

I’m a very family oriented person, so I think that I would have to just get all of my family together and spend as much time with them as I could.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

These are really hard. It was supposed to be easy. I think probably my most embarrassing moment—and it’s like a collection of them—when your parents start telling stories to your friends about when you were little. My parents could be very embarrassing about things like that. I try not to bring too many of my friends around my parents, especially now that they’re getting older and, you know, they think it’s OK to say anything.

What is the character trait that you most dislike in others?

I really have a problem with people that are rude to other people. I firmly believe that everybody should be treated the same and that rudeness is just something that I really really have a hard time with. I tend to get a little vocal when it happens.

What is the character trait that you most dislike in yourself?

Oh wow. That one’s a hard one. I would say I tend to—sometimes your mouth gets in gear before your brain gets in gear and if I’m really passionate about something, that tends to happen a lot.

What’s your favorite tattoo and why?

I have many. I actually just got number 13 a couple weeks ago. But I guess if I had to pick my favorite, it would be the one that I have of Animal with the American flag behind it. It has my son’s name attached to it. I had that done a couple days before his second deployment to Iraq.

That’s Animal from The Muppets?

The Muppets!

What is one film that you believe everybody should watch?

I don’t know. I mean there’s a bunch of them. I think any movie that shows you that, once again, that everybody’s the same. That you shouldn’t treat people differently because of how they dress or what they do for a job or stuff like that. It needs to be something that teaches you—that gives you some life lessons.

What is one thing in life that you truly regret?

I don’t think there’s anything in my life that I truly regret, and I say that because I’m pretty happy with the person that I am today and I wouldn’t be the person that I am without going through what I have in fact been through.

What is your most treasured possession?

I guess I would have to go with—I was extremely close to my grandmama and so I have this little blue blown-glass unicorn that on one of our weekend jaunts that we found at a lawn-sale. I keep that. I have an actual memory box and it sits in my memory box. So I think that would probably be it.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

Oh wow, it would have to be somebody funny. I can’t think of her last name. Melissa…? Actually it’s really funny, they’ve already done a film of my life. It was called Tammy. I’d like to think it would be somebody really cool like, you know, like Jennifer Aniston or something like that, but yeah probably not.

What is your greatest fear?

Like phobia fear? I’m petrified of spiders. I do not like spiders.

What would your super-power be if you could have one?

If I could have a super-power I would like it to be that I could control other people’s minds. Get them to… sway to my way of thinking.

Do your bidding?

Well not so much do my bidding. I have two children and it’s one of those things where they’ll come to you and they’ll be like, “this is going on.” “Well if you do this it’ll be OK,” but they go and do something totally different then come back and be like, “why didn’t this work?” “Because you didn’t do what I said.” You know, so something like that.

You’re on death row. What do you request as a last meal?

Pizza and beer. That would be it.

What is the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

Like, ever? Well, kids are mean to other kids. It’s a situation of back when I wa—god that makes me sound old, “back when I was in school,”—they never looked at it as bullying like they do now. There was—kids are just mean to each other. And I’m finding that teenage girls are so mean to each other. So there was always stuff like that.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Besides my children? I would say earning my bachelor’s degree, which I’ve just completed this past May.


Thank you.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?

They have to be a living person? So I guess that would have to be my dad. My dad is totally awesome. I’m so a daddy’s girl, I’m more than willing to admit that. My dad grew up in a time that was extremely difficult. He went and spent 13 months in Vietnam—lost his best friend while he was there. Came back and, you know, there’s myself and my brother and my mom. My mom has pretty much always been a stay-at-home mom. My dad has always been the provider; he’s always been the strong one. And the one big thing that he taught me is that I was able to do anything that I wanted to do. That it didn’t matter if it was something that was, “meant for a boy to do.” I could do whatever I wanted to do and he made sure that I didn’t have to rely on a male person in order to get by in my life.

What is the worst job that you’ve ever had?

I would say the worst job that I ever had was when I first graduated from high school and—I moved around a lot—and I got hooked up with this company out of Florida, and we used to travel. The traveling all over the country part was great, but our job was [that] we had to set up tents. And when I say set up tents, I don’t mean like tents you would set up in your backyard. I’m talking tents like tents we set up for commencement on the south lawn kind-of-thing. The really big ones. Sometimes, depending upon where you were and what they were being used for, we would have to set up stalls inside them for horses. Yeah. So that was probably the worst job.

What word or phrase do you most overuse?

“You’ve gotta be kiddin’ me!”

How would you like to be remembered?

I hope that I’m remembered as making a difference and that people see me as a positive person in their lives. But that I made a difference.