This is the personal blog of Phoebe Zeitler, a Pittsburgh-based writer, podcaster, and so-called “professional student”. She is currently studying at the University of Pittsburgh in the Japanese Language department, and is pursuing a life-long goal of becoming a professional translator.
Phoebe graduated from Gannon University in 2002 with honors as a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering – Software Engineering Track, and embarked on a career in systems development and software engineering that lasted eleven years. She worked on a contract basis for clients such as General Electric Transportation, FedEx Ground, and the US Department of Defense, holding Secret-level clearance. In 2013, she left the IT industry to change careers.
Podcasting and Entertainment Biography
During her education at Gannon University, Phoebe was an on-air personality at the university radio station WERG from 1998 to 2002 (with a six-month hiatus in the spring of 2001). She was well-liked by staff and listeners alike.
In 2004, Phoebe was approached by staff members for Netjak, a web-based video game review and criticism site. She posted her first review in September of 2004, and remained a correspondent and later editor with the site until its closure in 2010.
In 2010, Phoebe began working with Pittsburgh-based anime convention Tekkoshocon as a staff member and later department lead. Phoebe led the video game room department of the convention’s three annual shows from 2011 until her departure from the organization in 2013.
In 2012, Phoebe became a founding member of Otaku Drive Time, a podcast discussing current events in American and Japanese “nerd” fan circles. She is one of the regular ensemble hosts for the podcast and is a frequent contributor to the podcast’s web journal, providing reviews and criticism of video games and board games. In addition, her weekly column (during school sessions) “Daigaku Z” provides insight into the ins and outs of both learning Japanese and returning to college as a non-traditional student.
In addition to her collaborative work, Phoebe is an occasional participant in National Novel Writing Month, and has completed several manuscripts.
Phoebe is transgender. She came out in October of 2014. As such much of the content on this site will refer to her by her previous name, “John”.
As expected of any good Pittsburgh adoptee, Phoebe follows the Penguins, the Steelers, and the Pirates– in that order. She also enjoys the stereotypical meal of a Primanti Bros. “Pittsburgher” and Dr. Pepper. She has, in her defense, never taken a photo from atop the Incline.