This was supposed to be a reflection on my 17 years at ASMS having proudly and somewhat loudly proclaimed last summer that this was to be my final year. I was headed home to read 1,700 books on my Kindle, lavish attention on dogs, a cat and a bird and instead of collecting cookbooks, I would have the time to really use them. Then…juniors asked me to stay…faculty wondered why I was doing this…and I came to my senses. But that didn’t mean I got out of going down memory lane for the newsletter. So, here are some thoughts as I slowly move towards retirement in 2021:
What I hope to retain: Good ASMS friends! Students and adults!
What I wish I could take with me: My gorgeous views looking through my walls of glass.
My most embarrassing moment: Lip-syncing to I Got you Babe in the auditorium – I was Cher, Dr. Rambo was Sonny. How did I ever agree to that? Hopefully, there are no pictures!
What I’m most proud of: Changing the ASMS library from a collection of other schools’ discarded books to a library of current and classic materials including new fiction, relevant nonfiction, access to JSTOR for students and faculty, computers for our classes to come and research topics, and our program of having laptops available for students to check out.
What I am most proud of – Part 2: The design of the library. It is every librarian’s dream to be able to design the perfect library – and the Ann Smith Bedsole Library is truly a gem. In a small space we have it all – group study rooms, individual study units, a place to crash with friends, and library stacks that can grow. It is an inviting place and the most beautiful part of the campus. It pops with color from floor to ceiling with the bright colors and art that Mrs. Bedsole donated to ASMS.
My biggest surprise and often greatest joy: Teaching English. This has been such a gift to me – sparking creativity and giving me an opportunity to engage with the students in a different way. I love the class conversations and watching math and science kids understand they CAN enjoy characters and plots almost as much as a calculus problem. For me this is both a challenge and sheer fun!
My vision for ASMS: ASMS is the Little Engine that Could…and does every day. Growing ASMS into a research institute is her future – our students have always been engaged in research at ASMS – these are stories that need to be told.
My final thought: Everyone has good days and bad days at work – no matter where you are. To have the good outweigh the bad and to have been given the opportunity to find new strengths and being allowed to follow your passion is a gift. I have been given many gifts during the past 17 years. In the end, it’s all about the kids for me – they keep me young, amaze and delight – and that is why I will stay one more year.