Dr. Wendy Jo Gertjejanssen, Ph.D.

As a trained historian, tutor, editor, writer, homeschool educator, and taiko player, I have long had a hard-time briefly answering the question, “what do you do?” I have run a part-time business out of my home since 1999, finished my Ph.D. in 2004, and have two kids. Homeschooling kept me busy for over six years. Then my business was successful for maybe ten years (until Amazon’s recent takeover of name-brand products), and in 2017 I also became fascinated with taiko – playing it, taking lessons, and getting to know others in the taiko community. I write essays on living with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and on sexual violence and war, including the expansive German system of sexual slavery, and am preparing oral interviews conducted with survivors of the German occupation of the eastern front for publication.


Editing services: Grammar and writing have been my passion since I was an undergraduate more than thirty years ago. Please contact me if you need editing or general help with your writing. My rates are reasonable.

Tutoring for all ages: I have taught several courses at the University of Minnesota, was a Teaching Assistant for many more courses, taught a few courses at Metro State, successfully homeschooled my children for seven years, and tutored children at elementary schools.

If you are an adult or high school student and need help with writing skills, English, test preparation or other work or if you have an elementary student who needs help with basic work, please contact me to arrange a consultation.



Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, I spent my senior year of high school in West Germany as a Youth for Understanding exchange student from 1984-1985. Having attended the University of Minnesota for one year, I then lived in the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) for six months from 1986-1987 and Denmark for a few months thereafter. There I studied GDR politics, history, Russian and in Denmark attended classes at the University of Aarhus.

I partially funded my undergraduate education teaching German part-time, waitressing and working as a word processor in a bank. My Bachelor of Arts was in German, Russian, and history (three majors and a minor), so I then began graduate work in history in 1993.

In 1999 I started my business TC Swingin’ Hepcats, now known as Nostalgic Treasures. This was first inspired by my love of swing dance, specifically Lindy Hop, and later inspired by my love of animals as I extended beyond the smaller swing dance community. For years, I was able to significantly contribute to our family income, but in 2020 Amazon took over the rights to selling name-brand toys on its site, and so I lost about eighty percent of my income.

Having graduated in 2004 with my Ph.D. in History, I remained home as planned, to recover from the trauma my topic and my own life experiences had caused for me. I wrote encyclopedia articles, kept my business going and home-schooled my children for parts of their elementary years. In 2017 I discovered taiko and have been immersed in that ever since.

Chōchō! Beating with Perspective Taiko Biography

Wendy Gertjejanssen on ResearchGate