If you’ve ever called the Shelburne News offices, you’ve probably been greeted by the voice of Dori Sharp, a petite brunette with impeccable style. At age 23, some might expect the native Vermonter to still be consumed by the exhaustingly dramatic transition from youth to adulthood so often experienced after graduation. Fortunately, she doesn’t have that problem. She walks the line between youth and adulthood quite deftly; while she holds down a full time job here at Wind Ridge Publishing, Sharp continues to pursue two (and a half) academic degrees at her own pace.
After graduating from Colchester High School, Sharp attended McGill University in Montreal from 2009-11, where she began a major in literature. Because she didn’t have a work permit it became difficult to support herself, and so she decided to move back to Vermont. At about the same time, she realized that while she enjoyed reading good literature, perhaps the major wasn’t the right move for her. Still intent on attaining a degree, Sharp enrolled at the University of Vermont in 2012 with a new focus on political science and economics. She didn’t give up on literature entirely; since she was able to roll over some of her lit credits from McGill, she decided to finish the major. Because really, why not have two?
While she intends to resume her coursework online in the summer, Sharp found that going to school full time didn’t leave her enough space to bring in the funds necessary to sustain her academic interests, hence her decision to take the job at Wind Ridge last summer. While she works to support herself, she’s taking her academics slow, and plans to finish her political science major and economics minor in one to two years. After that, she says, she’ll pursue a law degree.
“There’s nothing better that I could do than help the least fortunate,” Sharp elaborates. “I plan to be a public defender, maybe even a judge. But I change my mind every month.”
When Sharp isn’t simultaneously holding down a full time job and pursuing a double degree, she enjoys reading. She recently finished “The Loved One,” by Evelyn Waugh (that’s a male author, for the uninitiated), a 1948 satirical novel about the funeral industry in Los Angeles. She’s now working on “The Best American Short Stories 1984,” compiled by John Updike, who Kirkus called “the most satisfying guest editor” of the series to date.
Every so often Sharp gives herself a break for lighter reads. “I live for the New Yorker,” she says. “It takes subjects that I normally wouldn’t be interested in and makes them…interesting. For example, there was an article recently about kids who grew up at a rodeo and ride bulls in Oklahoma, that’s something that I would never read about or feel like learning about, but just the way that they do this literary nonfiction gets you really into it.”
As for recommended reading, she suggests “Lawrence in Arabia” by Scott Anderson, saying, “It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. It does a great job of putting what’s going on in the Middle East into perspective. It’s amazing, how a handful of people can shape the world.”
Sharp lives in Burlington with her boyfriend Matt and cat Yolanda. She enjoys watching “Sherlock,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” and soccer, which she calls her “reality TV.”